Sometimes I go into a new album wanting to like it based on the individuals involved in its creation, even if it is a genre of music I am not familiar with at the time. Volcano’s debut album is a perfect example of this experience. Early reports of this new group tossed around genres such as Afrobeat and Zamrock which were all completely new to me (full disclosure: I had to google Zamrock). Musical uncertainty aside, I was completely confident in the musicianship of the group based on a couple of its founding members, namely Zach Oakley and Gabe Messer. Oakley is one third of heavy psych blues hustlers JOY and Messer plays with the acid rock freak show Harsh Toke. These two bands get plenty of spins at STC HQ, so I knew I would be in good hands exploring this new musical territory.
Naked Prey leads off the album introducing us to all the players right away by locking into a tight groove about a minute into the track that manages to instantly transport the listener to a new musical land. Messer’s dramatic vocals weaves a story across the album’s six tracks sometimes acting as narrator and main character. Although there is plenty of funk to be found on The Island, the grooves are all based on a heavy riff and beat that should please most fans of heavy music. The album’s title track is another great example of the group dialing in a beat and moving in sync with one another making it hard for the listening to remain still. Broaden your horizons and give this album a spin, you will not be disappointed. If you dig it, I highly suggest you also check out JOY and Harsh Toke for further journeys into the musical stratosphere.