Album review: Bongzilla – Weedsconsin
A colossal disappointment
Bongzilla are a stoner rock band from Wisconsin, and they recently released their album Weedsconsin, their first album in over a decade. Their psychedelic hard rock album has a total of six tracks, two of which are over 10 minutes long. The group consists of singer and guitarist Michael “Muleboy” Makela, guitarist Jeff “Spanky” Schultz and drummer Mike “Magma” Henry. The trio not only share immense chemistry within their music, but also share a passion for advocating for the legalization of marijuana at the federal level. Weedsconsin is a tribute to their previous work alongside new tracks for fans to enjoy.
Weedsconsin opens with a slow, psychedelic introductory sound in “Sundae Driver”, one of the album’s shorter tracks. The four-and-a-half-minute track is heavily distorted and features hoarse, whispering vocals that add to odd sounds that immerse audiences in the world of Bongzilla.
“Free The Weed” is yet another slow song, but it features a more sinister tone with a hoarse voice and heavy drums. Bongzilla leans towards a heavy metal sound in this track and calls for the legalization of the use of marijuana in their lyrics: “we must vote to smoke”. The heavy bass and drums seem to prompt the audience to stomp and protest alongside the band.
“Space Rock” lasts a little over 10 minutes and features a small vocal part, making it an almost purely instrumental track of blurry sounds. Distorted guitars keep their rhythm in catchy riffs and melodies accompanied by shattering drums that follow their lead. The second half of the track seems to calm down to a calming guitar beat but ends with a dark heavy metal sound.
Bongzilla includes experimental sounds in a short 30-second track titled “The Weedeater” as a tribute to their past. This short interlude is followed by a 15 minute track titled “Earth Bong / Smoked / Mags Bags”, which for the first three minutes serves as a lullaby. The rest of the song seems as if the band have put together different sounds that they enjoy without considering the fluidity of the song. Finally, the album ends with “Gummies”, a six-minute track with dark, heavy metal sounds that pierce the listener.
For an album that took years to arrive, Bongzilla’s Weedsconsin seems to be a lazy composition. It’s an album that fans have been waiting for for over a decade, but it looks like the random sounds created during jam sessions were lumped into one album without a clear definition of any sort of creativity. Stoner rock and heavy psychedelic sounds can be distortions and heavy metal sounds, but the sounds of Weedsconsin don’t flow well together, leaving a huge possibility of disappointment on the part of the audience.