Croatian psychedelic rockers Cojones released their newest record Bend To Transcend in November 2012. Largely unknown within the US, the band played Stoned From The Underground 2012 (one of the biggest underground music festivals) with the bands St. Vitus, Orange Goblin, Monster Magnet, Red Fang, and others. And they’ve toured extensively through Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Croatia, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic. It’s always fun to discover bands, which are being recognized for their talent within other countries, but haven’t quite transitioned to the US market. It makes you feel as though you are part of some secret club.
This band has a sense of humor too, as you can tell by their namesake, which they like to say came about because they strive to provide their fans with “heavy stoner rock with balls.” If you’re not familiar with the term, cojones is a slang term for a man’s testicles, or it can also mean courage, but we’re pretty sure they looked to the slang definition when naming their band.
Their sound is often compared to Soundgarden or Black Sabbath, but they really have a sound all their own. While sometimes as music listeners and reviewers we desire to compare every band to some other more well-known band to convince others it’s worthwhile to listen to, that comparison is just not necessary with Cojones. They are authentic. They are not trying to be anyone else. They are who they are. And their ability to create something different is a compelling enough reason on its own to like them.
Lots of their songs combine a hard rock sound with longer trippy, instrumental parts. Two of the best tracks on the album are As Far As It Goes and Tide.
As Far As It Goes is enticing with its tough vocals and guitars, and its stand-alone, groovy instrumentals at the end. When listening to the instrumental you just may envision a hippy woman in a long flowing dress dancing in a field of poppies, her exuberant behavior likely encouraged by a drug-induced state.
If Pink Floyd and Red Hot Chili Peppers made wild, passionate love, they would produce the sweetest, kindest, most mild-mannered, angelic baby with a bit of a biting temper at times, and it would sound like the song Tide.
If you grew up in the 70s, you were likely exposed to a lot of the psychedelic rock, and even those younger have probably been exposed to bands like Black Sabbath. If you still require a comparison to encourage you to check out Cojones, know that if you can appreciate the stoner rock genre and really like it, you’ll LOVE at least some, and probably lots of the music Cojones has to offer.