Bongzilla – Dabbing (LIVE) Rosin In Europe

Bongzilla – Dabbing (LIVE) Rosin In Europe
Heavy Psych Sounds
Release Date: 22/03/24
Running Time: 39:06
Review by Dark Juan

Good afternoon. It has come to my attention that I am to be promoted at work again, but this will involve Dark Juan having to do some personal development and obtain a new qualification. Now, the only personal development Dark Juan normally likes to do involves chemical stimulation and the stimulation of certain parts of his anatomy, sometimes both simultaneously, but this time I cannot escape it with my normal ease, grace, and charm. Or at least smiling awkwardly, sidling uneasily out of the door, and running away from whatever it is Dark Juan is dodging this time. A quick search on the internet, however, has enabled Dark Juan to find many ways of cheating for a nominal fee and this is most pleasing as it means Dark Juan will be able to condense an 18-month course into the space of about six months and then have a year of pissing about before having to become an ACTUAL, functioning adult with a career and responsibility for several homes as well as the inhabitants and their staff. And it will also allow me to continue communicating with you good people out there and not take a sabbatical in order to do extremely boring things.

Putting me properly in charge of shit. Whose fucking daft idea was that?

The Platter Of Splatter ™ is spinning, and it is allowing Dark Juan to bask luxuriantly in the Psychedelic, Stoner sounds of Wisconsin, USA natives Bongzilla and their latest live release via Heavy Psych Sounds, ‘Dabbing (LIVE) Rosin In Europe’. 

Let’s dive right in. If you are familiar with Bongzilla, you are familiar with the ultra-groovy sub-Sabbathian Metal melded with the outlandishness of Fuzz Rock and a generous admixture of playing this while being utterly stoned out of their gourds. There’s more bottom end than the keels of several battleships filled with all your mums, and the music, although heavy, ebbs and flows and breathes and explores the outer realms of experience freely, gazing in wonder at the rainbows, unicorns and the slavering fury of the war outside the walls of their fragmented psyches. The acid they have taken chewing vast chunks out the bastions protecting their personalities, threatening to collapse them and allow the horrors within their minds out.

I have to say, for a live album, this record is brilliantly recorded – everything being played is easily heard despite being buried under a layer of sludge so thick there’s fucking archaeologists digging in it looking for lost civilisations, although the vocal style of singer/bassist Mike “Muleboy” Makela might be a rather more acquired taste, his spittle-and-phlegm-soaked, wet sounding snarling being more aligned with the likes of Deathcore or something rather more like that than hitting cosmic groove highways among the stars like Bongzilla do. 

The grooves are as huge as the riffs. Abase yourselves at the Altar of the Almighty Riff, ye Heathens, and despair. Repent! Repent now and proclaim for faith in the power of the Riff, for the Riff is your God and Master and you shall forever be a slave to the endless power of the Riff. Yeah, sounds a bit daft, doesn’t it? That’s what Christians sound like to Dark Juan, but Dark Juan is a High Priest of Extremity, a Sex Fuhrer and a Psychotropic Love Commando because Zodiac Mindwarp told him he was. Dark Juan is a fervent Priest of the Riff and has totally lost control of this paragraph and where it was going because he has the attention span of a stoned gnat at the best of times and listening to these almighty Yank Riffmeisters has distracted him somewhat as the music is so fucking achingly cool. Also, coffee. Dark Juan has had coffee and this makes Dark Juan hyperactive and unable to control his thoughts or to SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

Bongzilla are advocates for the legalization of weed and worship the Devil’s Lettuce in case you had not already guessed this from their name. Most of their songs are about either being stoned, or weed of some description, and the velocity rarely picks up beyond “relaxed”. You really don’t listen to Bongzilla if you are looking for high-octane Rock and Roll. You listen to Bongzilla because you are cosmically stoned in some comfortable bolthole and are SERIOUSLY chilled. Although, unless you are prepared for them, Muleboy’s vocals could harsh your velvety, comforting buzz, but the rest of the music is fucking amazing, if not totally unique. There are loads of Stoner bands out there that play the same heavy, Blues-influenced Psychedelic Stoner Metal but Bongzilla seem to have struck upon a rich seam of total, blissed-out grooviness that lifts them above the (admittedly slow-moving, but that’s because they are all off their tits) pack, and that is because they are tighter than a duck’s arse live, regardless of how fucked they are on party treats. Dark Juan was prepared, when he was assigned this record for review, for it to be a fucking glorious, shambolic mess, sloppy grooves, and giggly silliness. In fact, it is a surprisingly focused effort and as far as live albums go (and Dark Juan is famously and aggressively NOT a fan of live albums as Dark Juan does not feel that a live performance translates well to recorded media. It’s Kiss’s fault for “Animalize Live Uncensored” because Dark Juan found it terribly unsatisfying, and W.A.S.P.’s fault for giving me “Live… In The Raw” which had so many studio overdubs it destroyed any ambience of a live sound) and actually a fucking well-engineered effort. Which is very rare indeed.

In short, Dark Juan has enjoyed the fuck out of this album and is going to hand you over to The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System…

Mellow greetings, citizens, this is The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System. We (there’s an entire committee of us but we all live in Dark Juan’s head. My name is Jeremy Barker and I have subdued Algernon the Hirsute in order to speak with you all today) hereby awards Bongzilla 8/10 for a peach of a live album. Marks have been deducted for the unsettling, wet sounding vocals and the fact that the record is made of edited performances with fadeouts. It would have been a cosmic experience to have a warts-and-all gig recording, but it is yet another triumphant release from Heavy Psych Sounds.

01. Sundae Driver 
02. King of Weed 
03. Free The Weed 
04. Greenthumb 
05. H.P. Keefmaker 
06. Hippie Stick 
07. Gestation 

Mike “Muleboy” Makela – Vocals & bass
Jeff “Spanky” Schultz – Guitar
Mike “Magma” Henry – Drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.