Album Review: Hermano - ...Only A Suggestion [Remastered]
Reviewed by Matthew Willaims
Hermano are one of those bands that definitely don’t need much of an introduction, as they have near enough legendary status, so it’s great that they have joined forces with Ripple Music for the reissues of their entire back catalogue, all remixed and remastered, with some exciting new features and twists.
And it all begins with their debut masterpiece 'Only A Suggestion' which launched the band as one of the most influential stoner rock groups around. It’s well documented that before entering the studio to record the music, the band, consisting of David Angstrom, Steve Earle, Mike Callahan, and John Garcia had never been in the same room before, and with the initial riffs brought by producer Dandy Brown, 'Only A Suggestion' was born and the band became something special, a musical outlet free of egos and industry pressure.
It all begins with 'The Bottle', and there’s no getting away from Garcia’s distinctive voice as it totally dominates the song, but the stoner rock vibe comes through so clearly, and hard as it is not to draw comparisons with Kyuss, the music really flows through the guitar sound of Callahan and Angstrom. It gets bit more bluesy and fuzzy on 'Alone Jeffe' with some cracking riffs and powerful, almost crazed vocal from Garcia, before a little spiky, punky affair called 'Manager’s Special' comes bursting through the speakers, leading the band on a different direction, but still with the same genius.
As they were a band who operated on their own schedules and recorded and toured when they wanted to, the delivery was always going to be something different, as they could do what they wanted, and with the eerie opening of 'Senor Moreno’s Plan (Intro)' reverberating around your head, it gives way to the groove laden 'Senor Moreno’s Plan' accompanied by a huge bass sound from Dandy Brown and the crashing drums of Steve Earle, who left to be replaced by Chris Leathers after their European tour in support of this album.
'Landetta (Motherload)' gives off that quintessential desert rock sound, with the riff being simple and straightforward, but when it kicks in, it really hits hard and is for me, the stand out track on the album, and with the excellent '5 to 5' and 'Nick’s Yea' giving off a Hendrix inspired feel, the album is over with far too quickly for me, but it shows what could be done at the time when you get connected people all with the same vision together, and the result is just brilliant.