[sic] Magazine

Parades Against Parades – Driving Me Stoned

Generation Snowflake loves a self-congratulatory parade almost as much as it does a pointless protest, so it’s only right that things should come full circle with Parades Against Parades, not just the sound of inevitability, but also the sound of the weight of history groaning under modern vacuity. A gloriously retro rock ‘n’ roll capture in thrall to the relative heydays of The Velvet Underground and The Rolling Stones, the songs on Driving Me Stoned have been in some frozen Canadian vault a while now, freshly excavated by the crate-diggers par excellence at Cardinal Fuzz for deluxe vinyl treatment.

The hook-up is no doubt due to PAP member Chris Laramee, who can also be found amongst the line-ups of fellow Cardinal Fuzz alumni and Saskatchewan longhairs Shooting Guns, hard-rockin’ primal psych heroes The Switching Yard, as well as dreamy kraut ‘gazers Radiation Flowers and others. Talk about pedigree; the guy simply doesn’t do bad records and Driving Me Stoned is further proof of it. The PAP five-piece (obviously) favour the stoned side of psych-rock in any case, shrugging out smears of lightly psychedelic blues during the album’s earliest exchanges to the accompaniment of a mumbling vocal, jangling riffs pungent with sweet jane, quiet-loud-quiet structures as much Brian Jonestown Massacre howl as they are Lou Reed drawl.

Ignoring a probably unnecessary alternate take of the hazy opener “Heading Up To Head Down”, Driving Me Stoned really heats up from this point forward. A pair of achingly cool street-walkers, the battered “Driving Me Stoned” and “Sonic Reaction” strut their best leathers over crumpled percussion and vintage stomp. Really getting wild now, “Love’s Addiction” then steps up the attack with hard-rockin’ streams of liquid guitar, neck-popping bass lodging a weighty groove firmly in the throat. Temporarily slowing the exit pace to a rumble, however, the mighty 10+ minute closer “Wasting All My Time” draws in turn as much from the likes of Janis Joplin and Patti Smith as it does Mick Jagger before the track develops into a solo-heavy, paranoid examination of stoner culture and what it means to make the most of your life. The old adage may go something along the lines of time’s never wasted when you’re wasted, but when you can knock out red-eyed jams of this quality whilst hard at it you get the impression that there may just be some truth in it. Mostly all killer, only a little filler, Driving Me Stoned blows the bud from the seeds effortlessly: all parade, no protest.

Best track: “Sonic Reaction”

~Driving Me Stoned is released July 31st 2018 via Cardinal Fuzz.~