Welcome to another headbanging highlight of the week where I tell you guys what I am currently listening to and what you should check out! This week we are going back a decade to 2007 with an album that I personally think is quite overlooked from a band that was considered one of the heaviest bands of their time. Blue Cheer who formed in the mid 60’s releasing their ear splitting 1968 classic “Vincebus Eruptum” which was essentially the bluesy styles of the trio Cream taken to it’s logical extreme at the time. The band released a few more albums before imploding in the 70’s before coming back with a straight forward heavy metal record entitled “The Beast Is Back” in the mid 80’s and retaining a more heavy metal style through a few more records and tours until 2007 when the group released “What Doesn’t Kill You” which was their last before band leader and founder Dicky Peterson passed away shortly after. Blue Cheer have always been one of my favorite trio’s but unlike groups such as Cream, they never really got the recognition I always felt they deserved. Well i’m going to tell you exactly why their final album was just as heavy as most bands that were releasing albums at the same time.
Now this album features only two out of three original members with Peterson and drummer Paul Whaley being them with Andrew Mcdonald joining on guitar who does a great job. a more stoner rock style with fuzzier guitars grooving riffs and Petersons now very gravely vocals which are battered to hell but work and add a layer of dinginess to alot of these song. From the straight heavy blues metal opening “Rollin Them Bones” which is one of the quintessential songs about weed to the calmer and more melodic “Young Lions In Paradise”, The album definitely is one that I play a lot. The production is very well done with every instrument mixed fairly well together. The soloing has a lot of grit but is still clear and that is something I really enjoy. Peterson’s vocals like I said are very beat up which is noticeable in songs especially like “Gypsy Rider” which is actually my favorite and one of the heaviest songs on the album with a very Black Sabbath feel in the main riff of the song. You also have some vintage sounding fuzz guitars found in grooving songs like “Maladjusted Child” which give off that heavy 70’s feel a lot. The album more so in the second half is very consistent blowing off bluesy hard rock number one after another which does feel quite monotonous however the really good songs detract from the album becoming dull. I would suggest the first half over the second but if you are a fan of stoner rock, heavy 60’s fuzzed out rock music or anything in that Heavy 70’s style, then you should pick up this final album from one of the most underrated trio’s of all time.