Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
What do you get when you combine the styles of Grand Funk Railroad, The James Gang, and Black Sabbath? Something pretty similar to the Texas trio known as Crypt Trip and their sophomore full-length release Rootstock. While their debut self-titled album from 2014 treaded much more into stoner/doom territory ala vintage Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer, this latest release injects a healthy dose of psychedelia, blues, and classic rock tones into their hard hitting yet groove laden attack.
The band are comprised of Ryan Lee (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Cameron Martin (drums, vocals), and Sam Bryant (bass), and they've written eight exciting, hard rocking tunes here that are well worth your attention. "Heartslave" kicks things off in fine fashion, a psych drenched blues rock jam with some killer guitar tones, and that segues into the uptempo rocker "Boogie No. 6", a tune that seems straight out of a time capsule from 1970.
The crystalline wah-wah comes out on the gorgeous "Aquarena Daydream", bringing up images of Robin Trower but the sublime electric piano adds a nice proggy/psychedelic touch, and there's a nice jam at the end that's almost like a midnight session between the Allman Brothers and Grand Funk. "Rio Vista" is barnstorming hard rock, again conjuring up vintage James Gang with its sizzling guitar licks and beefy bass lines, and Bryant's fat bass again is the driving force on the meaty "Natural Child" alongside Lee's awesome wah-wah soaked riffs...think Grand Funk's first three albums and you know what you are in store for here. Fantastic stuff.
"Tears of Gaia" ups the speed a bit for a raucous rocker that approaches metal, complete with some neat time changes and plenty of acrobatic riffs & drumming, while the more psych drenched closer "Soul Games" is prefaced by the brief instrumental "Mabon Song", both fantastic cuts that show additional sides to the band.
It's incredible to hear both Crypt Trip's debut and this release, as they almost sound like two different bands, but each are great examples of what this hot trio have to offer. Rootstock is a rewarding and truly enjoyable trip back to the days where heavy rock was in its infancy, and psychedelia and blues both played a significant part in its maturation. Highly recommended stuff here, and I personally can't wait to hear more from this band.
In 2016 Crypt Trip released a short EP featuring 3 incredibly groovy, vintage rock songs. ‘Mabon Songs’ was a short demonstration of quality songwriting and originality but more importantly, my first introduction to Crypt Trip. The band seemed to have come out of nowhere and after playing this 14-minute EP on repeat, I was in desperate need of more material. The big question was, is there ever gonna be more Crypt Trip? Yes, there, IS! Two years later and Mabon Songs gets revived into ‘Rootstock’, together with five completely new songs. The new material blends in perfectly with the previously released songs and a diverse full-length record is the result.
The band follows a classic recipe of retro sounds, long jams, and bluesy hard rock but manages to stay creative and pull-off an original sound. The songs contain a lot of energy and sound like they could have been recorded live, but at the same time seem to be carefully thought through. The rhythm and lead section are following each other closely through ever-changing parts and clever hooks. Well performed vocal-parts and solos by Ryan take the lead and alternate endlessly through-out the record.
The opening track builds pressure before firing away on full speed as the blues-rock power trio that is Crypt Trip. They give everything they’ve got which makes ‘Heartslave’ a great introduction into the record and definitely gets you warmed up for more. Punchy blues licks, lots of wah and epic soloing set the tone and continue into ‘Boogie No. 6’, just to release the gas a little in ‘Aquarena Daydream’ for a piece of mellow psych-rock. The band lets you drift for a couple minutes but puts you back both feet on the ground halfway through the song to warm you up for ‘Rio Vista’, which is a great rock ‘n roll song.
After all the new material it’s time for a small trip to the past into Mabon Songs which are the next 3 songs in the queue. All three of them are absolutely brilliant songs so the excuse to listen to them again is almost as good as the fact that there are new songs to accompany them. ‘Natural Chylde’ used to be my absolute favorite of Mabon Songs and still is a strong competitor for this title in Rootstock. It’s catchy and immediately gets you grooving.
The band blasts through ‘Tears of Gaia’ just to close Mabon Songs with, the ‘Mabon Song‘, a short, chilled out instrumental track played on acoustic guitar. It’s a great track that adds a nice change to the record and shows they can also handle a different dynamic. “Rootstock” is closed off by “Soul Games“, which is the 5th new track added to the album. They don’t get back up to full-speed anymore after cooling down, but the track is definitely a worthy ending to this 40-minute masterpiece.
Overall Rootstock is an incredible release with eight songs that are all different but at the same time equal in quality when it comes to production, songwriting, and execution. Just give it a spin already and have a nice Crypt Trip!
Crypt Trip are
• Ryan Lee: Guitar, Vocals, Elec. Piano
• Cameron Martin: Drums, Vocals, Perc.
• Sam Bryant: Bass
01. Heartslave 05:19
02. Boogie No.6 04:18
03. Aquarena Daydream 06:02
04. Rio Vista 03:17
05. Natural Child 06:46
06. Tears Of Gaia 05:08
07. Mabon Song 01:42
08. Soul Games
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