River Cult’s brand of psychedelic music is a fresh and intense sonic stampede that oozes eclectic vibes all over every passage of rock music. The brilliant odyssey of Halcyon Daze keeps going from one end to the other in a euphoric blend of atmospheric jams and pummeling eargasms expertly crafted into a fluid amalgamation too unique to describe in simple terms.

River Cult’s guitarist and vocalist Sean Forlenza is an electric buzzsaw shredding wild outlandish fuzz on top of bad ass doomy riffs. His vocals are a blend of soulful eerie blues with raspy tones that somehow make the thought of swallowing glass and singing sound sexy. Layered underneath the band’s artistic surface is a very raw and punk driven sound that I can not help but admire. Drummer and bassist Tav Palumbo and Anthony Mendolla respectively bring life to a dominant and loud rhythm section. Each musician in the band should be credited for their ability to envision and deliver so many styles working together without compromising the core of their music which is ultimately that organic hard metallic sound.

This three piece from Brooklyn has a very strong grasp on their creative vision. River Cult’s pedigree is somewhere on the threshold with early grunge era bands like Green River and the iconic underground bulldozers of stoner rock The Melvins. At times the band travels into such epic landscapes of musical ambition that they ascend into the territory of classic post-genre bands like Explosions In The Sky, ISIS, or Russian Circles. Also, there is definitely a very classic trippy vibe behind the guitar work as well, as you’ll notice if you’re a fan of ‘70s rockers like Peter Frampton, Eric Clapton, and Joe Walsh.

River Cult rotate between brooding melancholy to wild and carefree rock tracks charged by quick paced melodies. I would definitely recognize them as a band that is attempting to do something different and fun in the stoner rock scene. Due to the length of each song, the band is able to manage many different themes and styles with fluid ease, which makes for great listening and many different emotions. Every track is an amazing journey and nothing stalls out to become filler.

I would strongly recommend River Cult if you’re into this sort of music or even if you’re looking for something new. River Cult have definitely put the entire stoner rock scene on notice.

Purchase the album here.


Nicholas Pendergast is a writer and artist with eight years of experience as a contributor. He has written for New Noise, Metal Injection, and Indy Metal Vault just to name a few places that have defied his low expectations by inviting his opinions. His goal in life is to die peacefully before backpains become a natural everyday occurrence, and he finally quit Warcraft because of China.

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