‘Counting Days’ EP
Self-released, 31 March 2015
Viajando’s ‘Counting Days’ EP is an enjoyable blast of stoner merriment. Each of the six songs on offer is a four-minute dose of guitar-led heavy stoner rock, featuring traces of Mastodon, Alice In Chains, Voivod, Metal Church and Kyuss.
The US trio concoct big riffs and play them loud. The tones are fuzzy enough to tickle your toes, the bass thick as a brick. And even when the music begins to wander off or feel less than inspired, the high-quality vocals of Taylor A mask any potential drop-off and keep energy levels high.
The same band member is also responsible for the drumming, however, which in places can sound a little safe and pedestrian, while the chattering bass drum interferes with the overall experience of head-nodding happiness. Nothing that can’t be fixed on the next recording.
Occasionally, Viajando enter darker and more emotive musical territory, such as on the thunderously gloomy standout track ‘Rogue’. Meanwhile, the song ‘Dead Mask’ shows early promise and passion with its twisting and idiosyncratic uptempo stoner riff, but then rushes into an undeservedly cathartic chorus before drifting off into uncertainty.
Viajando fit a lot of different elements into their brief songs, all within a solid stoner framework. In fact, they sometimes rush onto the next thing before the previous thing has become fully formed. The positive side of this bumble-bee approach is that songs never pause long enough to even think about becoming dull, which makes ‘Counting Days’ a pretty invigorating experience.