Indica – 3

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Artist: Indica

Release Title: 3

Label: Independent

Release Date: 30 July 2021

Location: Brisbane, Australia

Digital Price: 9 AUD (6.60 USD)

Length: 44min 27s

Today we’re going to check out the new release titled 3 by Australian doom/stoner metal band Indica, some real unsigned hype out of the city of Brisbane. Indica initially formed in 2021, with their first real release being 2014’s 1oz. of Indica release, which they followed up with their debut album in 2016’s Stone Future Hymns. Subsequently they released an album in 2018 titled Disparity of a Day, and as they continue to release new material, the development and growth of their sound and skill has really been a pleasure to witness. That brings us to 3.

The opportunity to cover a new Indica release only comes along once every few years, and inevitably presents some great material. When one goes through their back catalog – and you should do that – there is plenty that holds up to this day. I still enjoy their track Inner Mind Arise, not just for the intense slow grind of its guitars, but also for that mystical, spiritual sound that Indica did so well then. While that older work is still good, listening to 3 really shows how much the band has matured.

Indica’s lineup consists of three members. They are guitarist/vocalist Jesse Haywood, drummer Michael Flint, and guitarist/vocalist Jayesh Talati. The album was also recorded, mixed and mastered at Underground Audio in Brisbane by Christopher Brownbill who has earnt every bit of that credit with his work on this album. With vocal duties shared by both Heywood and Talati, we have a glorious mix of agony and pathos in both harsh and clean vocals that are equally well performed.

The vocals in 3 carry a certain rough charm to them that is really fitting for the sort of intense journey that Indica likes to evoke. But they are a little more refined than in previous releases, and at times a little more prominent in the mix than they were in earlier releases. That is to our benefit with this album, because on tracks like Funeral March, we can really hear the finer points of the vocal performances. Here, Jesse Haywood does vocals, and a damn fine job at that.

Being able to hear the notes shifting in Haywood’s voice and his agonised howls at one moment, while his voice blends seamlessly with fuzzy, heavy guitars really creates a mood here. On top of that, the guitarwork by Haywood and Talati is good enough that I could imagine the soloing in Funeral March in some of the darker and moodier tracks that great psychedelic funk bands like Funkadelic put out. Flint, of course, completes the sound with drums selected and timed perfectly to create the atmosphere needed.

Right from the beginning of 3 we are treated to some of the more aggressive stoner metal to be heard in 2021 with the track Antihaze. From the frantic, crisis-stricken mid-track solo to the harsh screams and growls of Talati’s vocals, Antihaze starts off a bit faster than one might normally from Indica. This works brilliantly as the track has an introspect sort of feel, with building anxiety as we dig deeper and deeper into the depths of our minds, with all the anxiety that entails. This mood can’t carry on forever, and we eventually progress into the slower paced, sludgy second half, a sort of moment of clarity occurring mid-track.

That eventually leads back to a blend of the two styles towards the end. Antihaze really is a great opener to this album, and musically it leads into the next track, Winter in Summer. Here we have a much slower paced journey of a sound as we are led further and further into the spiritual, metaphysical soundscape that Indica wants to take us into. Back on vocals again, Heywood really shines in Winter in Summer, especially in the latter half where at times his only accompaniment is subdued guitars. Winter in Summer, through its longer form guitar work and vocals faintly reminiscent of jazz, gives the track a film noir sort of desperation. The deliciously confusing kind where it isn’t entirely clear when listening if we are witnesses to hope or depression.

Indica are a band with some great potential, and 3 really shows off their ability to create an atmosphere through their art, and boy is it worth paying attention to. It is always the mark of a great psychedelic, stoner rock album when it feels like a musical journey. The mood and philosophical tones that come with an Indica album are well worth experiencing, and sturdy proof that they are one of the best bands of their kind that Australia has to offer. No matter what has happened during the pandemic, it hasn’t stopped Indica. Do not miss this.

I hope you enjoy 3.

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