By Dr. Abner Mality

What exactly is stoner rock? I've never liked the term myself because it seems to denote you have to be wasted to either play or enjoy the music, which is ridiculous. With a name liked Stoned Jesus, I was expecting fuzz rock along the lines of Fu Manchu, Clutch or even Queens of the Stone Age. That's not what you get from these three Ukrainian dudes. The music on "Pilgrims" has a lot more in common with Tool and 90's grunge than what one commonly thinks of as stoner rock.

I can't say I like the result. It just doesn't have enough grit or heft from me. But I must admit, there is some originality here and an almost progressive approach. Tool fans will definitely appreciate the likes of "Hands Resist Him" and the very strange sounding "Water Me". The bass plays a huge part in Stoned Jesus' music, popping and oozing along in every track. There's a real lack of traditional guitar soloing as well. It's more like space rock, but in a more modern sense than anything resembling Hawkwind. It's not straight forward riff rock at all and that's what a lot of listeners will be looking for. But if you're in the right frame of mind, I could see where these tunes could be hypnotic.

Not what I was expecting at all from Stoned Jesus and not something I am really into. Tool fans and those into "desert rock" might get something out of it.