Sandrider Godhead

Not everyone has the power to control a shai-hulud, one of the giant sandworms that sit at the narrative crux of Frank Herbert's much-loved Dune series of science fiction novels; those few capable of controlling the beasts are referred to as "sandriders." Seattle, WA's Sandrider, two-thirds of whom earned their stripes playing in Akimbo (R.I.P.), have always channeled that sense of vast, muscular, barely controlled power into their music. It was conveyed expertly in their self-titled debut release, and now, on sophomore effort Godhead, their strength and control is even more apparent. The undulating, grooving riffs evoke a vast bulk bending the desert landscape to its will; the looping, almost psychedelic song structures are expansive as any spirit quest. Each individual track is a stunner, from stomping intro "Ruiner" to the achingly lovely chorus of "Godhead" and sandstorm of tension in "Traveler." While it lacks a little of the curdled, chaotic bombast of the debut, there is more control, more of a commanding tone to Godhead that serves it incredibly well. Sandrider are not the new Akimbo, but their own towering, mythical monster. (Good To Die)