When I hear the term "skate rock," I usually don't think of doomy stoner metal. Rather, my mind tends to shoot for fast and loud punk bands like Common Enemy and Bones Brigade. But what if you could take that vibe and slow it down? Maybe add some heavier riffs and face-melting solos? Well, if you take a band that's as talented as Arctic, then I think we're in business!
Arctic is a band from California, made up of three pro-skaters with a passion for this classically heavy sound. While listening to songs like "Over Smoked" and "Burnt Ice," a few elements come to mind. Obviously there's the influence of Black Sabbath's more rock-oriented side (think songs like "The Wizard" and "Sabbra Cadabra"), but I can't help but think of Torche and The Sword as well. Their self-titled debut comes out today and a complete stream is available below. It's an album the band is particularly eager to get out there:
"This album has been a couple of years in the making and we're stoked to finally unleash it. We sold our souls for frontside rock and rolls"
I honor Arctic for being able to make catchy, engaging music without the help of vocals. However, the sparing use of reverb-heavy vocals on "High" (noticing a theme here?) gave the sound an extra dimension that would be cool for them to explore in the future. I feel like "Cryptic Black Sun" could be even more awesome with some raspy vocals laid on top. But regardless, the buzz-bomb guitars and hypnotic songwriting chops on display here are more than enough to merit multiple listens: on and off the half pipe.
And speaking of the half pipe, the gentlemen of Arctic are of course avid skaters and this piece would be incomplete without some footage of them showing off their skills (along with a skater's penchant for self-punishment). Check out bassist "The Nuge" bomb this insane hill:
Not gonna lie, my feet started sweating just watching him go down the hill. It takes a smooth temperament to do that...no wonder he plays bass! Check out guitarist "Figgy's" skate video below as well:
I've never understood how pro-skaters can take so many falls without even flinching.
Anyway, check out the band's sweet new album below!