When you’ve got a press release stating, “for fans of Mastodon, Sabbath, and Red Fang” you’ve got my full attention. Add to that one sweet ass vinyl edition of your latest work and you’ve already taken a leap towards winning me over before the first track begins playing. Such is the case with my first encounter with New Jersey’s The Sun The Moon The Stars. When I first opened the packaging containing my copy of their Mind Reader EP I already knew it was going to be right up my alley. The sick black and white cover artwork instantly drew me in, and it just got better from there. As I pulled the white vinyl 12″ out of the sleeve complete with a handwritten(photocopied) lyric insert it was a good indication of the music about to launch an all out attack on my auditory system.
A connection to the aforementioned bands is clear when listening to Mind Reader, and if you have a fondness for any of them you definitely need to check this album out. These guys have studied hard at the school of the thunderously heavy. Their sound can be traced from classic bands like Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, and Saint Vitus on up to their modern counterparts such as Baroness, Black Tusk, and Mastodon. Album opener “Red Horned Crown” instantly proves this. It’s a kickass start and one of my favorite tracks on the album. It introduces you not only to their sense of heavy groove but also to Matthew Dwyer’s unique vocals. He goes from caveman bellowing to disparate shrieking that fits the music flawlessly.
The rest of Mind Reader plays out in similar fashion. The songs retain a massive heaviness with plenty of mind for rocking grooves. While what The Sun The Moon The Stars are doing isn’t necessarily new they’re doing it so well you won’t mind. You’ll be too busy banging your head to care. ”Moon Crazy” is a good standout track that stomps out its path in a feverish manner that pulls you right in. There’s some nice gritty guitar riffs and some delicious bass lines.
One of the best things about this music is that the rawness makes it shine. Imperfections are flaunted on Mind Reader making it even more memorable. There’s a dirtiness to it that makes drinking your favorite beer while listening to it oh so right. The Sun The Moon The Stars had no problem at all winning me over. This album is the full package. From the aesthetics to the music it does not disappoint.