Stoned Jesus’ sophomore slamball, Seven Thunders Roar, was arguably my favorite album of 2012. Whereas their debut contained 4 songs worth of rather effective Sabbath worship, the follow-up was an even more accomplished outpouring, containing better songs and more importantly, showing the band come into its creative own rather than staying mired in stoner/doom tropes. It was one of those albums that captures a band in that perfect moment, when they can still feel their roots planted beneath them, but have joyfully and without reservation let their branches reach up towards the sun. Needless to say, I’ve been drumming my fingers for almost 2 years now in anticipation of their next release.
In preparation for an upcoming full-length, Stoned Jesus have released on their Bandcamp a download-only album worth of jams, captured during rehearsals, humbly but tellingly entitled The Seeds, vol. 1. These performances may or may not hint at what’s to come; they might be the beginnings of songs, but it is perhaps more tempting to assume that they show a band more candid. Sprawling and open without simply meandering, these 6 effectively untitled tracks reveal a wonderful chemistry, admirable musicianship, and stylistic flexibility. It’s easy to be optimistic that these elements will continue to find the band at its peak, especially as it heads back into the recording studio.
The whole set can be downloaded here for only $5, and the proceeds will help Stoned Jesus record their next effort. While the “give us money so we can be awesome” Kickstarter campaign has become all too common, it’s refreshing to see a band offer such a great incentive to supporting them, truly rewarding their fans in doing so rather than just expecting funds. Help these dudes out, get something awesome in return, and join me in anticipating what should be a great 3rd album.