It'd been a few weeks since the french scene didn't bring to my ears some new fresh blood, until this BLONDSTONE from Nancy sent me their EP #1.
In a style which rarely revealed me love at first sight, the trio consisting of Alex Astier (guit/voc), Nicolas Boujot (bass) and Pierre Barrier (drums) is an interesting addition to the list of good hopes that spread heavy sounds around the hexagone ... But we're not speaking here about Doom or Sludge as most often over the past two years, no, BLONDSTONE label themselves as Desert Grunge and damn this EP is a burning gem which reveals the hidden french son of Josh Homme in the person of A.A. !
Behind a rather simple approach, which indeed recover some Grunge caracters (but not the sickly ones), the band develops a style that is firmly heavy with a great dose of melody and catchiness.
"Rare and Strong" starts with some serious guitar hooks driving the song perfectly, Alex vocals are dry, with a low droning in the chorus; the influence of QOTSA is hovering but during the whole EP the band always seem to surpass their influences and transcend their own ideas which give a kind of unpredictability in an environment which remains well-bordered !!! (just the drumbeat for example will always be sober, pretty rock, no crashing overflows !).
"Shoot, Shoot, Shoot" is the band's tube, there's no problem to use the word with such a hitting song, this one rocks out and confirms that the guys are doing things seriously (well not so seriously if you look at the video which I like very much and in a way think that it also retranscribes well the band's sound and identity... 3 guys playing LOUD in a van, ok nothing original at 1st sight , but they succeed to make it interesting visually and.... the song is good, that helps I reckon !).
"Shoulder to Cry on" in its 2nd part and "Lazy" are more drowsy stuff, both really have a desert stoner side, the tempo of the latter is slow and freaky, creeping nicely upon you. On those both songs the bass is more valued and seriously rumbles of amazing psychedelia, which more or less logically leads us to an extra-song also available on their bandcamp : a cover of "Got this Thing on the Move" by Grand Funk Railroad... This ends brillantly your discovery of Blondstone and gives an even more urgent need to download (for Free !) the whole stuff those talented guys have for you... GO ON !