ACHACHAK - PLANET HASHISH
THIRD ALBUM & STILL NO COMEDOWN FROM CROATIAN ROCK INSURRECTIONISTS
It was less than a year ago when Achachak released their second album High Mountain. At the time, Jamm Tomorrow provided an approving summary and, if you are interested, it is here: https://www.jammtomorrow.com/post/achachak-high-mountain
In that review, it was posited that the Croatians put the rock into stoner rock with a rebellious car chase of a record. Here, as the unambiguous title infers, Planet Hashish is a brash celebratory paean to rock music’s historic association with the ‘Devil’s Lettuce’. This record is a greasier, fuzzier and bluesier sojourn. The opening title track even starts with the gloopy bubbling of a bong before lurching into a filthy, slow nodding-donkey doomy rocker with carefree hook lines as big as a lorry turning point. This sets the general tone of the record along with the likes of the marginally pacier Breathe or the riffy crunch of Orange Moon with their intoxicated swagger while the nonchalant sleazy headbangers of Weed Wagon and the Kyuss-on-steroids Desert Eye are punchy standouts.
Stoner rock records often tend to blur into one big smoky strung-out haze but Achachak provide variation with meditative, sparse Arabian-style thrumming mysticism on Celebration of the Desert. If you are in a desert tent with a campfire beneath the stars and a pipe-full of God-knows-what then this would be a suitable soundtrack. Moreover, the album closer Fisherman’s F(r)iend is a sorrowful, watery homily that rises to a rousing finale. The record is cohesive where the variations complement rather than compete. Moreover, where many other rock acts like this meander off into stoner psychedelia, Achachak are more about old fashioned tunes and classic rock rowdiness.
Overall, Planet Hashish sees Achachak grimier, seedier and a wee bit more trippy. The vocal style has changed since the last record and gone are the higher pitched caterwauls in favour of more sonorous and spacey, deep-voiced delivery swinging from croaked semi-spoken word to throaty bar brawl rumbling. The band have tuned down and turned up the Sabbath blues with big rolling desert session and Monster Magnet-ish riffs and a slightly slowed down gear. Lyrically, this is joyously fried (and shouldn’t be taken too seriously) and if you want proof then check out the narrative of The Hashish Eater.
Achachak have changed tack a bit with this new album. But it is a cogent modern desert stoner rock record that is packed with great no-nonsense riffs, debased grooves, and unruly attitude with an unabashed love of rock and hemp. Third album in an no sign of a comedown.
Check out Achachak's bandcamp profile: https://achachak.bandcamp.com/