I’ll start the review right away with the conclusion: Wow, what a f*cking great record! That good is Rose of Jericho, the latest album of the stoner four piece from Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Mandatory listening-food for anyone who loves stoner rock, likes it or is on a musical journey to discover the genre. By the way, Komatsu is one of the last bands I saw live during Baroeg Open Air 2019, an open air festival in Rotterdam. And believe me, they’ll blow you out of your socks!
Rose of Jericho, the fourth album by this quartet originating from the Eindhoven Rock City scene. Not only the album is new, Komatsu has also changed record labels. The Italian Argonauta Records has been exchanged for, the also Italian, Heavy Psych Sounds: the capo di tutti capi for stoner bands, among others. The fact that friend of the band Nick Oliveri has also housed his bands here has probably influenced their switch. Hopefully this will lead to interesting musical projects in the future.
What makes this album special? If you listen to the opener Stare into the Dawn, you’ll immediately understand why. The band still sounds loud, heavy and is rock solid. A big difference with earlier albums is that Stare into the Dawn sounds hard but also vulnerable at the same time. This is mainly due to (the change in) Mo Truijens’ voice. He already had a good voice, but he has added more variety which makes it also sound more vulnerable in some songs. Besides the voice, Stare into the Dawn also sounds heavy, the riffs ditto and it even swings every now and then; just a little bit. The second track, Solitary Rage, has a pleasantly fast tempo including fast and catchy riffs. As you would expect from Komatsu. You wouldn’t think that the record was recorded before the pandemic when you read the lyrics. This also applies to more songs on the record.
The third song, The Suit, starts with a nice riff and continues pleasantly for up to a minute and a half. Then they shift gears in volume and tempo. It reminds me a bit like a good grunge song from the 90s. And … for those who are still single and as soon as it is possible to date again. The Suit has the perfect opening line: “You are the suit that suits me”! Take advantage of this one! Blood Moon, the fourth track, the band sounds more vulnerable again. This is partly due to the melody, but most certainly due to the singing of Truijens again. After this song the album collapses a bit. Son of Sam reminds me of Church of Misery both musically and lyrically. The title track, Rose of Jericho, is the record’s only instrumental track. It has so much power it doesn’t need any vocals. Òm, the closing track, is, apart from a kind of chant, also instrumental. All gears are shifted up once more: solid riffs, full of energy and many changes in tempo and volume.
Rose of Jericho is foremost the better record of the foursome: a very complete album in which the band, and I hate this expression enormously but use it anyway, has grown up. The sound remains as usual, very solid and heavy. It is the vocals of Truijens that makes the difference.
- Stare Into The Dawn
- Solitary Cage
- The Suit
- Blood Moon
- Son Of Sam
- Rose Of Jericho
- Black Bird
- Call Of The Wolves
Meet the band:
- Mo Truijens – Zang, gitaar
- Mathijs Bodt – Gitaar
- Martijn Mansvelders – Basgitaar
- Jos Roosen – Drums