"No Return" (Blues Funeral Recordings; 2024)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

With its crushing stoner grooves and ethereal vocals, Hashtronaut delivers nine (okay, really eight), tracks of smoke-filled, mind-altering sound that's just as effective in taking your brain on a roadless trip as a hit from your space cadet neighbor's four percolator glass bong.

It's funny that stoner/doom rock has found such a place in my listening world. I mean, my favorite band is Motorhead, and Motorhead is known for their speed. Bands like Hashtronaut (and Sleep and Bongzilla) are just the opposite. They're slow, stomping rhythms with uber-heavy, Black Sabbathy, steel wool fuzzy guitars. But I really like this stuff and am always glad to discover a new band that's out there delivering it.

It's impossible to pick a favorite track of the eight tracks here because they all do the same thing: Fuck with your brain. That's not to say they all sound the same (although they often do, but can you say AC/DC?) And I say eight tracks because the ninth track, "Blast Off," is really only a forty-second jam, with the band speeding things up to a previously unmatched tempo.

I also really like the tricks of production that are often used here, especially when leads fluctuate rapidly from the right speaker to the left speaker and back again. It's a mind-spinning effect that leaves you a bit wobbly.

This kind of rock'n'roll isn't for everybody and I get that. But, man, I'm digging Hashtronaut's "No Return," and look forward to hearing more from this band.

For more information, check out https://wearehashtronauts.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2024 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.