I think I mighta missed the last album from this Texas trio, but it’s good to hear that nothing much has changed. Wo Fat still play long, slow, drawn-out stoner jams, no more than five or six a pop, always ending on an epic note—in this case, the 17-minute “Dreamwalker.”
But first we begin with the title track, slightly shorter at a touch under 10 minutes. This one really packs a wallop, conjuring up some evil spirits with distorted doomy blues—or is that bluesy doom? “Read the Omens” is a tad more up-tempo, if not more upbeat. The driving stoner grooves sound like Fu Manchu on steroids… or maybe just a thick Texas steak. “Pale Rider from the Ice” is probably more blues than doom, its extended intro leading into grimy, grungy guitars over a slightly shuffling backbeat. But “Beggar’s Bargain” brings back the grooves, a nice mellow number for the open road.
But of course, there’s one last tune before we ride on out into the sunset. “Dreamwalker” starts off with swirling feedback and space-bass-in-your-face for a couple minutes, before some ringing guitar riffs enter into the fray. We roll along at a nice pace for a while, some classic desert-rock landmarks falling by the wayside until they tighten things up and we hear the first lyrics about a third of the way in. Quite the catchy, chorus too. “I am the Dreamwalker!” Well, maybe it’s not much of a refrain, as the song soon explodes into a nuclear rifforama, a real far-out psych jam that’ll, erm, expand your horizons.
Better watch out, or Wo Fat will walk all over you…
(Small Stone Recordings)