PEARLS & BRASS, "The Indian Tower"

Pearls & Brass are a three-piece rock unit from Allentown, Pa., a place not exactly known for stoner jams. They draw heavily from Sabbath and Zep, but are still able to make this heavy-duty rock f

Pearls & Brass are a three-piece rock unit from Allentown, Pa., a place not exactly known for stoner jams. They draw heavily from Sabbath and Zep, but are still able to make this heavy-duty rock feel fresh. Fans of Queens Of The Stone Age, and to a degree Death From Above 1979, will probably be attracted to "The Indian Tower," but from the get go, there are noticeable differences that make the album a unique contribution.

The band focuses more on crafting long, heavy guitar jams that seem to switch direction when you least expect it. There are no real hooks that'll grab you, but the abrupt disruptions defy traditional logic of the stoner metal genre. On "Black Rock Man" they toy around with some hard blues riffs but following that is "The Mirror," a warp speed guitar-drum assault with sporadic little solos. Elsewhere, "I Learn the Hard Way" and album closer "Away the Mirrors" switch things up with "Bron-Y-Aur"-ish ditties.

The vocals don't add much to the equation, but that's not the point. "The Indian Tower" is a sonic album, meant to give your ears a thrashing with an exclamation point. -- Michael D. Ayers