Sixty Watt Shaman – Reason To Live Review

Sixty Watt Shaman - Reason To Live

Sixty Watt Shaman - Reason To Live

Reason To Live is the third, and to date final full-length studio album by Maryland Stoner band Sixty Watt Shaman, a band named after both Jimi Hendrix’s amplifier and Jim Morrison himself.

The sixteen-track album, from 2002, was written after the band had finished touring with fellow Maryland group Clutch and the legendary Corrosion Of Conformity and it is clear when listening to the record that this had some influence on the resulting sessions. It was produced by Scott Reeder of Kyuss and Unida fame and released through Spitfire Records. The artwork was handled by Frank Kozik who has worked with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Melvins etc

Their sound is a little more metallic than the average Stoner Rock band; as well as just in the attitude and energy of the performance, this manifests itself with use of double kick patterns with chuggy riffs or low screams with hard breakdowns added in with the usual big spacey sections and bass-heavy slow sections with deep melodic vocals to create a pleasant and compelling overall mixture of the two styles. On this album, the tracks will usually start in a more rock territory and evolve into a more metal form after a few verses. Additionally, there are occasionally slight grunge or southern overtones on some of the tracks adding further sounds to the mix.

Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich (of The Obsessed, The Hidden Hand, St. Vitus, Shrinebuilder etc) provides guest guitar on ‘All Things Come To Pass,’ which is interesting, as the band and Wino had already worked together providing a guest appearance on Clutch’s Pure Rock Fury album. Furthermore, this track also features guest bass from Scott Reeder as well just his production talents.

Highlights include The Title Track and ‘Horse You Rode In On,’ as well, of course, as the aforementioned album closer ‘All Things Come To Pass.’ The band are all superb musicians and performers and Reason To Live is a genuinely rousing and interesting record to listen to, the drumming in particular from ‘Minnesota’ Pete Campbell is a cut above the norm.

In summary; Reason To Live is a musically strong and wholly enjoyable Stoner Rock record that incorporates a lot of Metal elements into the sound and features a very energetic performance and strong production job.

If you like bands like Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Slo Burn, Sheavy, Down, etc (and especially Clutch and Corrosion Of Conformity) then Sixty Watt Shaman are just the sort of band that you should check out. Furthermore, if you enjoy this album I would also recommend their second album Seed Of Decades, which was actually produced by Jean-Paul Gaster of Clutch.

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