Return of Son of Gutbucket showcases a broad selection of tracks revealing what's happening in underground Canadian psych music. The compilation, co-released by NoiseAgonyMayhem in Canada and the UK's Cardinal Fuzz handling distribution in Europe, aims to shine a light on our homegrown subversive Canadian psych scene — and succeeds nicely.
The record takes off with Nanaimo band Anunnaki's tune "Obelisk Rising," heavy riffs holding course like a galactic wooden ship on a turbulent sea of mud. Victoria's Backhomes present gentle contrast via "If You Want It," sounding dissonant, resonant and echoing on a track that offers hints of India or Tibet. Kitchener's Hawkeyes' "You Are Frail and Won't Survive the Winter" sounds something like surf rock on morphine, and would fit well on the film score of a modern spaghetti western.
Nanaimo's Moths and Locusts prepare for battle with ample distortion, as their track name "Genghis Khan" suggests; if Tool don't quite do it for you, these guys will. "Vermilion Son" by Victoria's Psychic Pollution veers the album to a refreshing synth-based break, and it's followed by Saskatoon's Radiant Flowers' time-lapsed meteor shower "Stuck in a Maze." Also from Saskatoon, Shooting Guns' "United Fruit" will put a dash of psychedelic fear in you, while Ottawa's The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol brings the pop/rock finesse with album closer "Faster Train (redux)."
Once you think you've got this record, it will lead you somewhere different, making you want to get in line for the ride again. (Noise Agony Mayhem)