Souldivider The Big Relax

Karlstad, Sweden is the hometown of Lowrider, Sparzanza, Space Probe Taurus, Remuda Dust and now Souldivider. In a musical genre that desperately needs its limits challenged, this quintet doesn't necessarily dazzle with their innovative techniques as much as they simply do it better than most second- and third-rate stoner rock poseurs do. The vanilla "Second Ride" and "Anymore" sound like every other obscure compilation band's tunes, but "Strange Feeling 4 a.m." gets some notice, as guitarists Martin Henricsson and Andreas Hahne weave a dense web of harmonics akin to Fireball Ministry. The syrupy and deliberate "Inhale Your Destination" cruises through Oasis's "Champagne Supernova" as Jonas Gustafson applies welcome distortion to his vocals and "A Need To Escape" is a pounding riff-fest reminiscent of Monster Magnet's "Twin Earth." With a forthcoming release this summer, Souldivider stands either poised to either break through the stoner-rock envelope or simply retread familiar territory. (12th Planet)