The Upshot: Achtung, baby! Stoner-worthy hesher Kraut delivered by grunged-out guitars and amplifier heroism. And no, that is not the band’s Twitter logo, above…
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
If you believe that psychedelic stoner rock, while not exactly blazing new trails, still provides consistent pleasures, then raise a roach to one of the world’s most consistently pleasurable practitioners of the style: Colour Haze. The Munich trio (whose leader Stefan Koglek also runs specialist label Elektrohasch) doesn’t stray far from the established parameters – dreamy melodies skewed by menacing rhythms, colorful instrumental tones delivered by grunged-out guitars – for most of To the Highest Gods We Know.
For all the amplifier heroism in the band’s attack, though, it’s ultimately the tunes that set it apart – the soaring solos and hooky riffs of “Call” and “Überall,” the popwise vocal melodies of “Paradise.” But the Haze does cross its stylistic line with the title track, a hypnotic 12-minute instrumental delivered by alternately chunky and flamenco acoustic guitar and a string quartet, and the brief “Last Call,” a near-ambient ballad that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Elbow album. Colour Haze keeps one foot in stoner traditionalism and the other in whichever puddle strikes its fancy, letting outsiders enjoy To the Highest Gods We Know as much as heshers.
DOWNLOAD: “Paradise,” “Überall,” “To the Highest Gods We Know”