Elder Dead Roots Stirring

Sired by Sleep, Monster Magnet and Kyuss, stoner rock burned brightly until its peak in the late '90s, when it dropped out of the public eye and went underground. Boston-based trio Elder released their eponymous debut in 2008, to much Sleep-inspired praise, but Dead Roots Stirring takes a slightly different tack. Masquerading as characters from Tolstoy's War and Peace on their website, the band feature guitarist/vocalist Nick DiSalvo, bassist Jack Donovan and drummer Matt Couto. With DiSalvo's warm vocal tones recalling the more straightforward moments of Core's Ryan Finn, opener "Gemini" displays the band's devotion to the eternal groove, tempered by Couto's turn-on-a-dime tempo swings. "III" sounds as if it were lifted from Kyuss's …And the Circus Leaves Town, while the 11-minute "Knot" slings plenty of warm Sleep-isms. The sprawling, 12-minute title track shifts in and out of stoner touchstones, not unlike Kyuss, but DiSalvo steps forward at the halfway mark to deliver a solo dripping with the '70s nostalgia of FM-radio royalty Peter Frampton. "The End" lays down a bed of Donovan's Jurassic bass and Couto's bombastic kick drum, over which DiSalvo soars with stratospheric soloing. Dead Roots Stirring is another solid entry for stoner revisionists Elder, hopefully leading to more exposure, touring and disciples. (Meteorcity)