Thursday, December 20, 2018

FREE DOWNLOAD! Where Light Goes to Die by Hot Ram hard stoner rock album review by Fuzzy Cracklins

Where Light Goes to Die by Hot Ram
Where Light Goes to Die by Hot Ram
FREE DOWNLOAD!! Hard-hitting, heavy rock & roll is alive and well. Check out the new release Where Light Goes To Die by Atlanta's Hot Ram. Stream the album, hit those FREE download codes and read the Fuzzy Cracklin's review after the jump.....

Not to get all preachy about the past, but it's easy to forget that not every rock & roll album that came out in the 70s was solid gold. Far from it. Many was the day I came home with my shiny new vinyl only to discover that the only good track on it was the single playing on the radio, and the rest were "forgettable" to say the least. But when you look back on those days, we mostly just remember (and still play) all the really good stuff.

That is where the new album from Hot Ram fits in. This is a super solid, full-length hard rock album that plays with all the energy and riffing good times that you would swear all the albums from the 1970s used to have. On every single track and not just the singles.

Hit that Bandcamp streaming button and let's listen along to Where Light Goes To Die by HOT RAM.....

No time is wasted getting into heavy rock mode. Right off with Tribes Of Titan you are getting the full sonic rock treatment. Probably at this point we should make a note that Hot Ram is a three-piece band, so every member is bringing it full bore. "Power Trio" is the term that I believe all the kids are using these days. Indeed!

The good times keep swaggering along in Ciudad de Diablo, which has a very cool video:

Petra is up next, and has a touch of psych to it. Definitely we get some spacey guitar work but don't worry, the drums and bass never forget what's going on. Billy (the guitarist & singer) describes this song as a long-lost civilization wrapped in a non-denominational prayer. Yea, I'd say that qualifies as a nod to the psychedelic genre.

We get some more tripped-out vocals in Songs In The Storm, but this time with the music verging into metal or maybe even proto-metal territory. Fuzzy ain't no expert in this sort of thing but let's just say it's a really good song.

Then we get to the longest (just barely) track on the album, and Fuzzy's personal favorite. There is something about the chugging riffing non-stop power of Nova Caesaria that really cranks my gears. Also we get Billy's voice at it's crunchiest and the bass & drums never let up either.

Snake River (yes, the Evel Knievel jump site) wraps up the album and really brings out the sludgy side of Hot Ram. I've been listening to plenty of doomy sludge lately so this is right up Fuzzy's alley. Also we get a whole different take on Billy's vocals. That dude has got some range!

So there you have it folks: six solid tracks on a hard-hitting album you will be glad to play at your next party or just blow out your eardrums in the car. There's a variety to the songs that keeps the energy level all the way up, but at the same time the whole album has a cohesive feel to it so you are glad to play it from start to finish (and then hit repeat). Overall this feels like an album that a bunch of guys who love rock & roll decided to make so that they could play exactly the kind of music they enjoy the most.

Atlanta's Hot Ram is (left to right): Billy Konkel on guitar & vox, Gordon White on drums, and Dee Flores on bass

Let's meet Hot Ram, shall we? Billy (the guitarist and singer) was super cool and took a lot of time to answer Fuzzy's many questions. So let's see what he had to say --

FUZZY CRACKLINS: How did Hot Ram come into existence?

HOT RAM: After not playing for a while (raising a family)... I started getting the itch... And old bandmate of mine had moved to North Carolina and met this dude (Gordon) while working up there. Gordon was moving back to Atlanta and my buddy Tye said, hey give my boy Billy a call. Anyway sometime later we started meeting up at the Star Bar, where I was doing sound. Gordon was playing bass in band that played around town a lot. So I had a friend who needed a band for a Halloween party, so I needed a bass player... little did I know he played drums as well. So a little later, I was trying to get together with some guys but stuff never go togther. So since I had not played in some time or wrote songs. I met up with Gordon for lunch one day and said If you got the time, I need a drummer to jam with, I got ideas but I need to jam/hash this shit out. So we started playing at his house. We worked out some songs and jams, and I got us a gig in April 2015 (we we"re so not ready) but we needed a bass player. Gordon had a dude he used to play with in another band and that's when Dee can on. So we played that show and just wrote songs for the rest of 2015. I got us a show in Feb 2016 opening for Order of the Owl and Destroyer of Light. And so they say, the rest is history. We recorded our first E.P. "Leave A Beautiful Corpse" with Raheem Amlani (Withered/Arcadea) in November 2016 (released July 2017) and then we followed that with a full length (Where Light Goes to Die)recorded with Joey Jones (Royal Thunder/Cloak) beginning April 2018 and finished up in August 2018.

FC: What's the songwriting process like for you guys?

HR: Being the principal song writer... I [Billy] usually come up with a riff and recording on to my iPhone.. Then I either make a demo at home or I bring it to practice... We almost always start our practices off with a nice long 10-25 minute jam. So then I drop a lick and have the boys follow along and then we'll jam on that, sometimes coming up with a new section or idea while jamming (which I always record) then I go home and dump the jams into Pro Tools and edit the jams into songs. and then send the guys those jams. Sometimes I'll hear one of the guys play something, sometimes maybe just one bar of a lick, and I'll go thats it!!! Play that little thingy there against the other riff or that drum beat you played there.. play that for the chorus... anyway most of all these songs come from a spontaneous place (the ether, as I like to say)

[Allow Fuzzy to interject here and say how much I love jam tracks. So maybe someday we will get a jam track release from Hot Ram?]

FC: Atlanta is probably known more for rap and hip hop, so how would you describe the rock scene there?

HR: Well first off A Rippin Productions is being blowing up the metal scene the last 3 or 4 years putting on great shows in Atlanta. Check out bands .... Order of the Owl, Canopy, The Buzzards of Fuzz, Gunpowder Grey, Dead Now, Deth Plane, The Pinx, Dirty Magazines, Iron Shroud, Bleach Garden to start... and then we have more known bands such as Royal Thunder, Cloak, Whores and Mastodon.

FC: Hot Ram picked the title for Fuzzy's compilation album The Heavy South (out in April). First off, thanks for the great title! and second, who do you think Fuzzy should check out for it?

HR: Heavy South Suggestions..... try Bask (NC), Howling Giants (TN), Frostfang (FL), Toke (NC), Space Coke (SC), Heavy Eyes (TN), Marses (GA), SpaceMetal (LA)....

[Fuzzy says: Space Coke is on board! And I'm working on contacting the rest. Thanks for the suggestions!]

FC: Thank you very much for your time, guys! And a big thanks for sharing the download codes!