When I read "instrumental stoner rock/metal" I immediately think of Monkey3. But now Six Months Of Sun is here, a trio founded in 2009, and they rock hard. The band has been the support act for bands like Fu Manchu and Karma To Burn. 'And Water Flows' is their first effort, released in November 2013. According to their biography they're working on a new album that should be released somewhere in 2015. I for one am pretty curious about that album. Why? Well, mostly because 'And Water Flows' is a promising album but it leaves me a bit hungry. Stoner metal is pretty popular these days. Lots of bands are trying to jump on the wagon but most of them seem to fail in their challenge to create something new an refreshing. They get stuck in the same sound many bands before them invented and perfected and eventually they sink into their own thick, dark and filthy broth of sound they created, never to be heard of again. Luckily for Six Months Of Sun, 'As Water Flows' functions as their grasp, avoiding the dangerous descent into oblivion.
Above all, the eight tracks on this album are made for the stage. What they sound like in a living room or a pair of headphones seems to be less important. On a loud volume, songs like opener 'Electric Bones' or 'Coyote Paranoia' can be some ferocious beasts, scratching and clawing. It's heavy but groovy and drives on tons of fuzz and bass. It's no wonder bands like Mastodon or the earlier mentioned Karma To Burn have been a great influence on these Swiss. Yet, I feel that they have to be carefull with this sound because at times, especially on some up-tempo songs like 'Bearded Thunder' they barely avoid loosing themselves in a wall of incoherent noise. Again, in a live performance this can be nothing short of amazing but on CD or MP3 it lacks that power. The downtempo songs on this album are somewhat better than the speedy ones, often nudging towards doom metal and once in a while using some Black Sabbath quality riffing.
The most striking challenge though is creating something interesting with only guitars, bass and drums and not using any vocals. According to the biography two members of the band can function as vocalists as well but they decided to let the music speak for itself. This is indeed a huge challenge but several bands succeed in doing just that. It makes bands like Sardonis or Kong stand out. Six Months Of Sun is not there yet, although they really show some potential in several of the tracks. 'Desert Whispers' for instance is an excellent piece of heavy seventies doom in a modern stoner jacket. Since it's the last song on the album, it definately leaves the listener hungry for more.
My feeling is that Six Months Of Sun is a solid live band and that they wrote some very decent tunes. Yet they should think about the instrumental character of their music, maybe try using some vocals or even samples on some tracks to add some more variation. They do have what it takes to rock hard and loud, that's for sure.