Arctic – “Arctic” (Outer Battery)
Back in the day, oldsters like me used to remember skate thrashers like PusHead – well, the new generation has The Nuge! That ain’t Ted Nugent mind, but Don Nguyen, a Vietnamese American from Oklahoma who moved to Hollywood and since has become something of a skate legend, aspiring DJ and also the bassist of stoner psych power trio Arctic. Already rocketing across Europe and even as far as South Africa thanks to the Thrasher’s Skate Rock Tour, Arctic play it like they live it: skating, booze, bong and bang! Raw, reverb drenched guitars wailing insanely from feedback and every conceivable effect that Figgy can summon out’ve his SG, while Frex keeps it tight n heavy with those drums, stamping out a psych beat to keep the heavy trance inducing rhythm, completed by The Nuge’s deep but heavenly mellow bass runs. Blue Cheer, Sleep and Hendrix are some of the more obvious influences, but in reality it’s clear that Arctic take in everything that life has to offer in creating massive numbers from the trippy funk of ‘Cryptic Black Sun’, to the stoner psych of ‘Burnt Ice’ and my personal fave, the awesome fuzz funk frenzy of ‘Daewon’. Heavily instrumental, there are occasional hypnotic vocals as well as some morning after bestial drawls although that doesn’t detract from the spectacular jamming and sheer transfixing power of this amazing self titled debut!