"Requesting Permission to Land" (High Beam Music; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Volume is a stoner rock from California that finds its way to my ears via the Australian record label High Beam Music. Why it took a label from Australia to bring a Southern California stoner rock band to the world-at-large is beyond me. One listen to "Requesting Permission To Land" and I was convinced there should have been at least one American-based label that would have had the guts to sign Volume to a deal.

"Requesting Permission To Land" is heavy on fuzz and whacked out on psychedelia. If the constant buzzing doesn't make your head swim, then the swirling psychedelic lead guitars will. It goes without saying that most stoner bands utilize fuzz and psychedelia to maximum advantage, but Volume employs these two sounds with flair.

The album's five tracks in 34 minutes offer a variety of sounds and tempos. Not once does "Requesting Permission To Land" get bogged down in a repetitive morass like so many other stoner disc often do. From dissonant breaks, reverb drenched vocals, super-maximum wah-wah pedal abuse, booming low bass, and edge-of-chaos drumming Volume catch their inspirations like greased lightning.

I don't often seek out 'stoner' bands to listen to outside Queens Of The Stone Age, Clutch, and Sixty Watt Shaman, but there is something catchy and endearing about Volume's loud, brash, and bluesy approach to stoner rock.

"Requesting Permission To Land" was produced by Volume and Mike McHugh.

Volume is Patrick Brink on vocals and guitar, Jay Christensen on lead guitar and bass, Tom Owsley on drums. Guest musicians include Scott Reeder, Todd Nakamine, Brent Brandon, and James Scoggins.

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 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
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