22 September 2023

Straytones – Beware, Dark Lord! Here Comes Bell-Man

Label: Robustfellow Prods
22nd February

Straytones, a band from Ukraine, has a new EP on the 22nd of February. From Kiev, with 2 albums released, their EP Beware, Dark Lord! Here Comes Bell-Man! It is short and sweet.

I rarely get so impressed with a title that I say: I’m going to hear this just because of the title. Well… There’s always a first, and this is it.These guys are mastering well the stoner/psych tradition. Sounds like a surf trip to me.

Ukraine got us used to bands as Somali Yacht Club or Stoned Jesus, it’s not unusual to see concerts of these big Ukrainian three together, same gigs around Ukraine in particular, Europe in general. I’m secretly hoping to see them in Tallinn, Estonia in the near future. The Straytones have been around since 2011 and seem to have a proper future after they release this EP. Truth be told, their last album, S/T, released also in February, but 2017, had also pretty cool songs, such as “Sleep through” and “Trippin’69”. They are definitely a band embodies the spirit of psychedelic rock of the ’60s and ’70s, inviting you to a surf journey.

Enough of the old albums, we are here to talk about Beware, Dark Lord! Here Comes Bell-Man. This EP is also that. A blaze of sound, 3 short yet powerful songs that run you through a heavier sound. “Dark Lord” is a kickass starter, with some interesting drums summoning some sort of electric evil that forms in guitar dusky riffs and bass lines. Waiving voice and steady rhythm make this song amazing. When less expected, the synthesizers are there, sprinkling some black magic dust over the whole thing. This song was super cool in so many ways that I can only recommend my readers to hear it. Followed by “Abyss”, it embarks on the trippy sound, with synth to set the environment to finish with “Bell-man”, a blast through a non-stop fast passed drummed, and the bass line goes with it perfectly, not missing the tempo. These guys are remarkable musicians. The combination of male and female vocals works marvels in here.

There’s not much to mention about a 3 song EP. Maybe it’s worth to add that we are expecting a video to show the story between the struggles of the Dark Lord with Bell-Man. Must be funny, to say the least. That, and I’m patiently waiting for them to tour around Europe.

Line up:

  • Artem Dudko – guitar/vocals
  • Maryna – drums/vocals
  • Vova – bass

01 – Dark Lord
02 – Abyss
03 – Bell-Man