It’s good to get the basics covered. Grooving riffs, songs about space and monsters, a Kyuss influence, some blues. French heavy rock trio Brain Pyramid hit their marks on their debut full-length, Chasma Hideout. The album will be released on Oct. 1 by Acid Cosmonaut Records, and shortly thereafter, the three-piece — guitarist/vocalist Gaston Lainé, bassist Ronan Grall and drummer Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo – head out on a European tour to support. They’re newcomers, having formed just at the end of 2012, but as the seven tracks of Chasma Hideout demonstrate, they know what makes stoner rock go.
They have a structured but still jammy approach, as the Sabbathian beginning of “Lucifer” unfolds topped with psychedelic guitar effects swirl, and a crisply layered production that results in a fat, front-of-the-speaker kind of sound. The preceding “Landing on the Pyramind” offers bluesy bounce after the jammier open of “Living in the Outer Space” and subsequent shuffle of “Lazy,” and while “Lucifer” is about as far into doom as Brain Pyramid move, they never lose sight of the heavy psych elements at work in what they do. It’s their propensity for making these sounds cohesive that makes the album a satisfying listen — how Lainé tears into a solo just as the tempo kicks up or how Grall‘s bass subtly carries the melody of “Twin Headed Giant” — and while they’re far from reinventing the wheel sonically, they’re starting out ahead of the game by working to find a place of their own within the style, learning the rules even as they determine which ones they want to break and how they want to go about it.
The boogie runs strong in “Into the Lightspeed” — if you’re wondering about the extra “the”s in that title and “Living in the Outer Space,” it could be a translation issue, it could be on purpose — and which incorporates some organ to go with the wah bass jam, spaced out guitar and Gautier-Lorenzo‘s thudding tom rolls. They ebb and flow and get hypnotic across that song and the 11-minute closing title-track, though it’s probably the latter that makes Chasma Hideout‘s definitive statement, pushing away from verses and choruses for a linear instrumental build based around psychedelic soundscaping early and extra-blown-out fuzz later on, Lainé shredding a head-turner of a solo before embarking on the riffing that will carry the record to its raucous conclusion, a wash of amp noise, rumble and feedback leading the way out in the last minute as Brain Pyramid make their exit on a final, fading tone.
While it’s true they still have some stuff they’re figuring out — vocals are a little high here and there, including on “Living in the Outer Space,” and there’s development to be undertaken all around — Chasma Hideout is all the more impressive considering these dudes have basically been a band for not quite two years’ time. Ahead of the aforementioned Oct. 1 release, I’m happy to be able to stream the album in full. Please find it on the player below, followed by their tour dates, and enjoy:
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[TBC] Friday 10/10/14 : Le Mans
[TBC] Saturday 11/10/14
[TBC] Sunday 12/10/14
Monday 13/10/14 : Caen w/ Missingmile @ Le bocal
[TBC] Tuesday 14/10/14
Wednesday 15/10/14 : Amiens/w Cheap Wine
Thursday 16/10/14 : Lyon @ Trokson
Friday 17/10/14 : Montpellier @ Le MAT
[TBC] Saturday 18/10/14 : Perpignan/Toulouse
Sunday 19/10/14 : Barcelone @ rocksound
[TBC] Monday 20/10/14 : Valencia TBC
Tuesday 21/10//14 : Madrid @ Wurlitzer Ballroom w/Mr. Wilfried
Wednesday 22/10/14 : Ourense @ Centro Cultural Auriense
Thursday 23/10/14 : Lisboa @ Stairway Club
Friday 24/10/14 : Barcelos
Saturday 25/10/14 : Viseu @ fora de rebanho
[TBC] Sunday 26/10/14 @ Xijon
Tuesday 28/10/14 : Bilbao w/ The wizards
Wednesday 29/10/14 : Bordeaux @ Le Capharnaüm
Thursday 30/10/14 : Paris @ Le Klub
Saturday 1/11/14 : Tours @ Hurricane’s w/ Crackhouse booked
Wednesday 5/11/14 : Rennes @ Le Gazoline + Cuzo
[TBC] Thursday 6/11/14 : Alençon w/Birth of Joy
Tuesday 20/11/14 : Nantes @ Scène michelet w/ Fange