Released: 2007, Small Stone Records
Quick – how many artists, metal or otherwise, can you name from Iceland? Well let’s see, there’s Bjork...and...Bjork? Hmm, it seems like Iceland is criminally overlooked in the global musical world. As the country goes, so goes the citizens as the subject of this review, the Brain Police have been kicking around for over ten years now and have released now less than four full length albums! Already a big band in their home country, hopefully signing with an American label will get this band some more exposure!
Why am I pulling for them you may ask? Because Brain Police fucking rock, that’s why! Firmly within on the stoner side of things, and seemingly enamoured with ‘70s music, Brain Police churn ahead with a thick-riffed sound, buoyed with fuzzy guitars and charismatic vocals. Seriously, Jens Olafsson’s performance on this album is one of the best I’ve heard in stoner metal. He, like the band, harkens back to all things ‘70s without sounding derivative of anyone specific. If I didn’t know better, BEYOND THE WASTELAND could be an unearthed classic from 1976, from the production on down to the vocals and riffs. Besides which, the band can do it all, straight ahead bulldozers (“Rooster Booster”, “Mystic Lover”) and more introspective, atmospheric songs (“Leo”, “Thunderbird”).
Like I said, Brain Police are criminally underrated on a global scale. BEYOND THE WASTELAND is proof of that. Stoner rock fans need to search this one out – you’ll not regret it.