Linus Pauling Quartet
If bongwater had a specific frequency (besides a viscous bubbling), it would sound exactly like Linus Pauling Quartet. The Houston five-piece actually encoded "Texas stoner rock" into iTunes' genre field for their new album and first in five years, Bag of Hammers (Homeskool Records), and spends its 40-minute entirety living up to it. Paced between a grind and a plod, Hammers spreads an array of aromatic riffs around a Black Sabbath-forged steel foundation. But the NASA-loving band is also comfortable exploring more astral Pink Floyd territory ("Rust," featuring Mlee Marie of Hearts of Animals) and gets in a few garage-punk kicks on "Victory Gin" Space chimps, D&D, a "bong of power" and a headbanging, epic eight-and-a-half-minute closer in the self-explanatory "Stonebringer" — it's all here. Let 'er rip.
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