“Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover?” laughs LUNA SOL’s David Angstrom. “We wanted BELOW THE DEEP,” LUNA SOL’s sophomore album, “to look and feel like a worn out Steven King novel, with artwork that will scare children.” It might. A young woman submerged in a lake at the foothills of the Colorado Mountains is creepy. But Angstrom thrives in the darkness. He was married at the Standley Hotel in Estes Park, the haunted mansion that inspired King’s classic “The Shining.”
BLOOD MOON, the band’s first album, released on 4/20 in 2015, received critical underground acclaim (e.g., in Revolver, Brooklyn Vegan, Kerrang, Marquee Magazine, Metal Sucks, Scene Magazine, Stoner Hive, Crave Online, Invisible Oranges, Rocker Stalker, Antiquiet, Spin, Pure Volume, Classic Rock and Vice Noisy). The songs focused on Angstrom’s folklore of the Colorado Mountains and included cameos and performances by Angstrom’s friends from notable bands (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Guns n Roses, Kentucky Headhunters, etc.). With their music referred to as “high mountain stoner rock,” Angstrom wanted BELOW THE DEEP to go further. “We didn’t want to rehash the same old riffs,” says Angstrom. “On BELOW THE DEEP, we wanted to expand a bit, and touch on my Kentucky roots without leaving the fuzzy rock scene we’re proud to be a part of.” With guitar solos you can sing note for note, and the clearly troubled personal lyrics of the new album, Angstrom creates a tension we can all empathetically relate to.
Changing the lineup for this album, Angstrom brought in Alaskan born Portland native Justin Baier on drums (The Builders & the Butchers), and Denver shredder David Burke on rhythm guitar. Angstrom and BLOOD MOON bassist Shannon Fahnestock remain. With fewer outside players on this record, the band has grown into their own as a dark and focused powerful force. “This may be the best record I’ve ever made,” says Angstrom, who’s fronted and played in great bands his whole life (Supafuzz, Hermano, Black Cat Bone). “I’m extremely proud of this one and really honored to be such good friends with Shannon, Justin and Dave. They rock!”
Songs like “Black Cloud,” “Below The Deep,” and “Sometimes We Get It Right” are straight up rock classics. “Along The Road” and “Man’s Worth Killin’” provide swagger. “Wait For It” and “Garden of the Gods” bring pain and sadness, while “Mammoth Cave” recalls a history of the Bluegrass state where Angstrom spent his childhood. “The Dying Conglomerate” and “Hallelujah” give us reason to celebrate as misfits take over the world and a precious life is pulled from the waters of despair. With messages of pain, praise, sorrow, death, rejoicing, revolution and honest apologies BELOW THE DEEP takes us on a ride of emotions drenched in the massive, thick riffs, mountain rides and thunderous groove we’ve come to expect from LUNA SOL.
Produced by David W. Prasse and David Angstrom, recorded in Denver, Atlanta and Lexington, KY. Available June 29, 2019 on SLUSH FUND in the US and around the world, and August 16 on CARGO in Europe