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Lord Fowl
Moon Queen


Jon Conine: Bass
Don Freeman: Drums
Vechel Jaynes: Guitar & Vocals
Mike Pellegrino: Guitar & Vocals

Recorded and Produced by Jonathon Conine and LORD FOWL at Milford Marsh - Milford, CT.
Assistant Engineer Matt Schreyer.
Mixed by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios - Allston, MA.
Mastered by Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio Labs -  Ann Arbor, MI.
Album Artwork and Design by Alexander von Weiding.

All songs written by LORD FOWL, except "Woman King" which contains: music by LORD FOWL, lyrics by Sam Beam (Iron And Wine). Published by Warner / Chappell Music.

Published by Small Stone Records (ASCAP).

Reviews for Moon Queen...

The Dedicated Rocker Society

So, your looking for a hard rock album, one that's filled with groove-induced sonic rumblings, multi-layered textures and soaring melodys? Look no further, 'Moon Queen' the latest release from retro rockers, Lord Fowl is just what the doctor ordered. An all out rocker from start to finish. There's nothing fancy here; just four guys that deliver a groove with wicked riffs and just go for it! Lord Fowl is, Vechel Haynes on guitar and vocals, Mike Pellegrino on guitar and vocals, Jon Conine on bass and Don Freeman on drums.

'Moon Queen' is an utterly consistent album from beginning to end, there are no weak tracks and every song is essential listening for the true rocker at heart. From the rocking opening title track to the impressive closer "Pluto". Standout tracks include "Streets Of Evermore" and "Dirty Driving". There is also a killer take of Iron & Wine's song "Woman-King". A intense track that sound great a must be heard with head phones for full effect. All in all, 'Moon Queen' is a hard, riff-heavy rock album, call it `stoner rock' if you will - whatever genre you want to label it. All I know is that Lord Fowl will raise the hairs on the back of your neck in ways only the gods of rock could do. These boys are good. - Highly Recommended

-Tony aka The Atomic Chaser

June 29th, 2013


Ask anyone who lived through it and they’ll tell you that the ‘70s will never be bettered for rock. Connecticut’s Lord Fowl know this as well as anyone but rather than simply cruise by on retro clichés, they add touches of stoner, grunge and heavy psych to give their arena-worthy anthems a bit more kick. With a strong emphasis on soulful crooning, groove over heaviness and big choruses (and maybe a little cheese) they hit up stomping southern rock in the vein of Skynyrd (Quicksand), rip-roaring metal (Streets Of Evermore) and power-pop (The Queen Is Not Impressed) with flair, attitude and confidently understated guitarwork. The balance between poppier cuts and darker, more substantial numbers is a tricky one but the lunar luminaries pull it off comfortably. If you dig Mountain, Camaros and Pabst, these are your new brothers in arms.

- David Bowes

January 13th, 2013

Pennyblackmusic (UK)

Lord Fowl were formed in New Haven, Connecticut, and come from a long line of Small Stone Records bands, all churning out fuzz-drenched rock and roll in great style. But this is no ordinary rock and roll outfit. Lord Fowl bring their 70’s influenced rock kicking and screaming into the 21st century. It's not just another Black Sabbath fest though. You'll find hidden in this gem of an album smatterings of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, and there is even, dare I say, a bit of glam rock in the form of Bolan or Thin Lizzy. But it has that 'now' feeling written all over it.

The band consists of John Conine, Don Freeman, Vechel Jaynes and Mike Pellegrino, and this offering comes off the back of their debut album, ‘Endless Dynamite’.

This album kicks off on a gentle note with title track, ‘Moon Queen’. Mike Pellegrino leads us in for around 20 odd seconds on guitar before the rest of the band stomp on the fuzz and the head banging starts. ‘Moon Queen’ is one of those tracks that is blessed with everything from great riffs, fine solos to some fine drumming from Freeman.

‘Touch Your Groove’ takes a little listening to be perfectly honest but once you get it your brain it is hard to let go. 'Split' is a full-on rock number with a bass-heavy riff, while 'Woman King' slows you right down with its stunning, laidback fuzz.

There’s a real quality and diversity on ‘Moon Queen’ to the playing and the song writing. Lord Fowl can play just as good as they can create, even down to the glam rock Bowie-esque 'Jean Jeanie-' influenced 'Quicksand'. Lord Fowl are also blessed with two, yes you heard it, two different main vocalists in Jaynes and Pellegrino. The diversity continues with the boogie-sounding ‘Split’, and we are treated to a monstrous, grinding slab of utter rock in ‘Mutate’. “Streets of Evermore” has a Judas Preist-type tinge to it. We come to a rest with the last track 'Pluto' with its melancholic but twinkling start. This is for me the starlet of the album. Give it a special listen as it is worth it.

The sound and production on here is monstrous, and the quality of the instrument playing is second to none. I'm not a great fan of heavy rock, but this knocks the shit out of me.

- Dave Goodwin

January 14th, 2013

Heavy Planet

Lord Fowl's music is an extension of some of the great, great rock of the 70s, with a slight southern tinge despite its creators hailing from the heart of yankee country. It's as if the decade had never ended, but instead endured through the ensuing three and half decennium, spawning a surfeit of incredible, delectable music.

Lord Fowl do not spare the riffs on this jam packed album. Guitars are salient, plentiful, and unburdened, spawning generous amounts of fuzz laced, down tuned distortion intertwined throughout with hot, searing solos and scorching riffwork. The vocals are perfectly matched to the music, bearing the slightest of raw edges, while percussion and basswork massivley encompasses all, expressing perfectly Lord Fowl's melodies of magic.

- Nuclear Dog

December 22nd, 2012

Shindig / Happening Magazine (UK)

Connecticut four-piece Lord Fowl are a stoner-rock act with classic rock leanings and a real eye and ear for quality riffs and melodic songwriting. What I didn’t really get from this album, however, was a sense of anything particularly original or groundbreaking.

The band has clearly mastered the formula on tracks like ‘Woman King’, where the riffs, vocals, powerful rhythm section and mood coalesce into something genuinely incredible. All too often however, the band just seem super-competent and self-assured rather than utterly transcendent.

Perhaps I’m being overly critical here. Chiding a stoner-rock band for unoriginality is like complaining your plate of fish and chips isn’t a bowl of snail porridge. While I would unreservedly recommend this album to any fans of stoner-rock, if you only occasionally dip your toes into the genre then you might want to wait for the next bus to come along.

- Austin Matthews

December 18th, 2012

Metal Sucks

Scraping Genius Off The Year: Gary Suarez’s Top Fifteen Metal Albums of 2012

If you’ve made it this far into my list, you’re probably scratching your head over this one. If not, then you’re undoubtedly part of the elite, splendid cult that follows this unsung hard rock imprint. Riff-centric and retro, Connecticut’s own Lord Fowl recalls everything worth loving about bands like Kiss and Monster Magnet on their first-rate debut. From arena-worthy rockers (“Split”) to heady psychedelic noodlers (“Mutate”), Moon Queen is an unwaveringly infectious and divinely heavy record worth trading your soul over.

- Gary Suarez

December 4th, 2012

Slam Scene

Connecticut quartet Lord Fowl is a well-oiled rock ‘n roll machine as documented on their 12-track endeavor MOON QUEEN. This throwback unit serves up a variety of retro riff rock with a fair amount of monolithic stoner rock and 70’s arena rock glory embedded in the tasty twin guitar leads (“Moon Queen”), sugary vocal harmony (“Hollow Horn”, “Touch Your Groove”), and crash cymbal led rhythms (“Split”), creating a barrage of righteous and soulful jams that bear a genuine vintage feel without sounding dated or tired. From pedal to the metal hard rock boogie (“Streets of Evermore”) to crunchy cosmic rock (“Pluto”), Lord Fowl serve up a treat for rock ‘n roll fans looking for an amalgamation of hard as nails attitude, classic tones and expressive musical interplay.

- Mike SOS

September 26th, 2012

Get Ready To Rock

Lord Fowl are a four piece consisting of Jon Conine (bass), Don Freeman (drums), Vechel Jaynes (guitar/vocals) and Mike Pellegrino (guitar/vocals) and this album sounds like a ling lost classic from the 70′s. They play hard rock but add in extended duel guitar solos, stoner rock and even a hint of Kiss on the chorus of ‘Touch Your Groove’.

‘Pluto’ is a superb guitar workout, sounding like Foghat by way of Monster Magnet, awesome listening. ‘The Queen Is Not Impressed’ is an instant hit featuring a massive chorus, little hints of Queen in the arrangement. A real standout track on the album. ‘Quicksand’ pulls the listener in (sorry couldn’t resist that one!) to a rumbling groove and the guitars meld well with the heavy drumming. ‘Split’ explodes out of your speakers, this band know how to make good music and listen to that throbbing bass line, you could smash crockery on it…

Make sure you don’t miss album if you like classic rock with a 70′s feel and some modern sprinklings. Lord Fowl know how to make a good album without flash solos for the sake of them and it is a great listen.

4/5 stars.

- Jason Ritchie

November 17th, 2012

Metal Kaoz

It may be true that the legendary LED ZEPPELIN have talked about the May queen in their epic “Stairway To Heaven”, released in late 1971, driving all the rockers frenetic around the globe for more than 40 years, but now it’s time for LORD FOWL to speak about their “Moon Queen” who seems to hold pretty tight the moon inside her arms as shown in the album’s cover artwork, while the band’s singer states plain and simple in the self-titled track, “I’m in love with a satellite lady”.

LORD FOWL come from New Haven, Connecticut to pour some pure Stoner Rock to our glasses (according the FU MANCHU / Brant Bjork writings), successfully mixed with a 70s Rock aesthetics, sometimes similar to KISS’ early steps, others following the Southern SKYNYRD tradition, giving a double meaning in the ‘Retro Rock’ moniker. “Moon Queen” is the band’s sophomore album, where the guitars clearly have the lead and the vocals color beautifully every addictive note. So, what are you waitin’ for?

Songs like the catchy album’s opener or “Mutate” will make your mouth watering for more, expressing the band’s love for the early 90s Southern Californian Stoner Rock scene, while I bet the glittery name of KISS will come to mind during the very first listening of tracks like “Split” and “Streets Of Evermore”. It’s amazing how these guys have combined so many different influences in one solid album, creating something refreshing and catchy-for-the-ear that will remain inside your CD player for dayz... Hands down, “Moon Queen” is packed with really nice ideas, explosive dual guitar leads and asteroid-stricken twin vocals, being the ideal soundtrack for every true-blooded Stonerhead.

If you belong to the category of fans where 70s is your thing and you still dig unreleased material from the CACTUS / BLACK SABBATH / LEAF HOUND era, this album is highly recommended. “Moon Queen” is the solid proof that LORD FOWL are really made to write music taken straight from the Queen’s reign, where long hair, tattoos, canned beer, Stoner and 70s Hard Rock co-exist at ease. Don’t miss the chance to join and bow on your knee respectfully before the spike-haired satellite Lady...


- Maria Voutiriadou

October 12th, 2012


“Everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974, it’s a scientific fact.” – Homer Jay Simpson. OUT NOW!

Homer’s views on rock and roll may raise a smile, but actually he has a pretty good point. In the post-Hendrix era, with Zep in their prime, both sides of the Atlantic were turning out decent heavy rock groups, and it was well before all the hair metal nonsense. I reckon there’s plenty of folk that would agree with Homer, not least most of the bands on Small Stone Records of Detroit.

The latest album in their steady stream of hard hitting, retro rock releases is Moon Queen by Connecticut based four-piece Lord Fowl. It’s firmly rooted in 1970s heavy rock, though that’s not to say there aren’t other influences that shine through. ’90s grunge flavours the album’s title track, and later there’s a touch of power pop in the catchy chorus and twin lead guitar on The Queen Is Not Impressed.

The band have a well oiled ability to rock out (check out the full on Foo Fighters style heavy sections on Split, or the driving rhythm of Streets Of Evermore), but they never forgot the all important roll, as evidenced on the bass heavy, slow rolling riffs on Mutate and the band’s take on Iron & Wine’s Woman King.

Though far from a concept album, the central character of the Moon Queen pops up from time to time, lending some continuity and weight. More depth is added by the album’s more prog-rock moments – the intricate dual lead guitar playing on Hollow Horn, along with the outer space fascination explored via the lyrics on Pluto. Aside from these slight prog leanings, it’s an album choc full of heavy, heavy rock and as Homer knows there ain’t nothing wrong with that! All hail the Moon Queen!

- Duncan Fletcher

November 15th, 2012


Obsessed with heavenly bodies here and deep into the galaxy, this Connecticut four-piece passes off grunge as stoner-rock. But they do it with exuberant wit and a super-sweet harmony-hook sensibility that can suggest a heavier Urge Overkill, or even, in the astoundingly catchy "The Queen Is Not Impressed" (one of three songs in which the album title’s moon queen appears), '70s school-parking-lot pop-rockers Earth Quake. Add sex ("Touch Your Groove"), psych, speedy old metal, a race riot called "Dirty Driving" and a Zeppish Iron and Wine cover, and the Soundgardeny parts get easier to forgive.

- Chuck Eddy

November 1st, 2012

Cosmic Lava

Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, LORD FOWL belong to the sort of bands which love the hard rock of the 1970's. That does not mean however that they try to mimic that music at any cost. 'Moon Queen' is a modern and refreshing take on the good old stuff and precisely herein lies the appeal of their second album, which is also their 2012 debut for Small Stone Records. Add to this a natural instinct for great and catchy songs with a high recognition value, and ready is one of the most positive hard rock surprises of this year. Both guitarists Vechel Jaynes and Mike Pellegrino share the lead vocals and both of them do an excellent job. The dark, churning guitar riffs complete the powerful atmosphere of these 12 songs, but also the tight rhythm section consisting of bassist Jon Conine and drummer Don Freeman knows how to deliver a convincing performance.

The variety of this album is also noteworthy, as it mixes hard rockers like the opening double shot of 'Moon Queen' and 'Touch Your Groove' with darker, more complex cuts such as 'Pluto' or 'Woman King'. 'Streets Of Evermore' is heavily metal orieted and knows to impress me with its crispy, super-infectious riffs and a strong hookline. It's definitely one of my favorite cuts, but I also dig 'Mutate' which clearly shows that LORD FOWL have a soft spot for Soundgarden just like me. Some songs need time to grow, but there is nothing wicked about this at all.

With 'Moon Queen', LORD FOWL should move to the forefront of the classic rock scene. And it even doesn't matter that not every song is a killer, because the great ones make up the majority of this album. The artwork (done by Alexander von Wieding) is pretty nice too, and matches the music well. Despite the obvious influences from the 1970's, 'Moon Queen' has a timeless quality and the potential to become a future classic. So, if you are a fan of rock that stands the test of time, expand your horizons and buy this album!

- KK

November 1st, 2012

The Soda Shop

Lord Fowl was one of the many new signings in 2012. The New Haven, CT 4 piece bring out their 2nd album, Moon Queen, following 2009′s Endless Dynamite. Listening to Lord Fowl, it’s easy to see why they are now part of the Small Stone roster. Their blend of riff heavy and fuzzed out guitar driven rock fits in perfectly. Moon Queen is easily an easy album to get into but even harder to turn off. The melodies get stuck in your head and the riffs are addicting. There’s a nice flow to this album. Even during the few “lighter” moments such as “The Queen Is Not Impressed,” this is an all round awesome album. I’m reminded of bands such as Mountain and Nazareth. If this isn’t in your collection, you need to take care of that right now. Borrow, beg or steal (no, not really that), you need to own this one.

- Bill Goodman

October 18th, 2012

Dr. Doom's Lair

LORD FOWL is a four piece from New Haven, CT and “Moon Queen” is already their second album. I must admit, I didn’t know anything about the band before but guess what, I am a fan now.

If you dig good-old Rock and Roll, straight to the core Stoner Rock, with sporadic bad-ass Southern Rock influences then there is not one chance that LORD FOWL will pass unnoticed by your radar.

There is nothing novel here! This band lives with the motto “simplicity of the riff is the key” (as another great band states) and they are great at it. LORD FOWL at times, may remind you about a hundred classic Rock monsters…but not one specific band. They sure have a great style which is an outcome of loving and mixing all things classic.

“Moon Queen” contains 12 songs but since the style of the band changes with each song I don’t believe that everyone will like everything in the album. Personally, I found that I enjoy more their darker compositions such as “Mutate” and “Woman King”. After the fourth track the record leads to higher grounds! Riff after riff they build some of the most uplifting stuff you’ve heard lately.

“Moon Queen” goes great with solitary road trips, beer worshiping and blondes with big tits. I think this year Small Stone Records is striking one jack pot after another.

- drdoomslair

October 4th, 2012

Daredevil (Germany)

LORD FOWL, another excellent Retro/Stoner Rock band on the mighty Small Stone label, are here to conquer the world! This summer is really excellent, especially because I got the CD from that band from New Haven, USA. Great guitar riffs, great song writing, great vocals, cool twin guitars and they created huge songs. Every song is a hit! Especially the vocals sound like a young Gene Simmons (Kiss) from time to time in my eyes. The two singer, Vechel and mike did an real excellent job on that record. The opener MOONQUEEN is one of the most outstanding and rocking song in 2012! What a great song. The following TOUCH YOUR GROOVE (as the title says) is slower, with great guitar licks and again the cool vocals. Sounding like a song from the early 70s, but with more power! The cool MUTATE, which is awesome and the rocking STREETS OF EVERMORE with a great opening. And the song THE QUEEN IS NOT IMPRESSED, which could get a song for the mainstream - a song for the masses. Because they mix in their music some Metal riffs and some Psychedelic elements and so they do not sound like the other standard stuff. Especially the last song on the record, PLUTO, is a real great Psychedelic Rock song. At the moment a lot of bands try to get this 70s touch for their music, but all that so called "Retro" bands have not the class and feeling for good music like LORD FOWL. An excellent record from start to finish. Maybe the best Small Stone release since years!

Big, bold, brash, brassy and balls out Lord Fowl bring 70’s influenced rock kicking and screaming into the 21st century. They have an uncanny knack of mixing up the sheer crushing weight of Black Sabbath with the pop suss and song writing skills, not to mention huge hooks and choruses of Montrose and Kiss and throw in a touch of Thin Lizzy’s twin axe attack to create a sound that is utterly irresistible. From the opening hookfest that is the title track, through the mighty grooves of “Touch Your Groove” and the boogie blast of “Split” to the monolithic grind of “Mutate” and the Judas Priest rush of “Streets Of Evermore” and on to the majestic and totally addictive glam bubblegum stomp of “The Queen Is Not Impressed” the potential hits just keep on coming like a porn star working overtime hours. The latter should be issued as a single forthwith with a killer video to match. This is one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard this year…and in many recent years…hell, this is a hard rock classic just nestling here waiting to be found like a coiled viper!!!

- Jochen

September 26th, 2012

Lords Of Metal

With 'Moon Queen', the retro-rockers of Lord Fowl have delivered a rock solid seventies album. The band proves its manifold qualities by successfully combining heavy riffs, psychedelics, catchy choruses, twin leads and twin vocals in the tradition of Cactus, Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy. Both song-writing and musicianship are excellent. However, 'Moon Queen' remains radio-friendly at all times, and therefore might be a bit too smooth for the true blooded stoners.

Rating: 81/100

- Menno

October 16th, 2012

The Sludgelord (Blog UK)

Being a child of the seventies, I grew up listening to a lot of great music. I maybe didn’t fully appreciate the music at the time, but I do now, and looking back, that’s probably why the majority of music I listen to these days, has at least a nod in the direction of that decade.

Queue Lord Fowl and their debut Small Stone record Moon Queen. This little beauty should come packaged with a pair of loon pants and platform shoes it’s so 70’s. I’m not just talking Sabbath here folks. There’s a sprinkling of Deep Purple here, a bit of Zeppelin there and in places, a dash of glam rock. Think T-Rex rather than some 80’s glam metal monstrosity though.

Title track Moon Queen starts the proceedings on a gentle note. Mike Pellegrino’s vocals take centre stage for all of 15 seconds before the rest of the band stomp on the fuzz and the head banging begins. This song’s got it all, great riffs, fine solos and some fine drumming courtesy of Don Freeman.

Touch Your Groove is next up and does just that. Not in a ‘normal’ way though. The verse of this one isn’t an easy one to follow on first (or second) listen but give it time. As for the chorus, it’s quite simply sublime.

Split is a straight up rocker with a bass-heavy riff, which is no doubt bowel, shaking live. While Woman King slows the pace right down and proves to be a stunning laid-back, fuzzed-up head nodder.

The thing that’s apparent throughout this album is that there’s a real quality and diversity to the playing and the song writing, something that’s often lacking from a lot of bands. Sure they can play, yeah they can riff, but how many bands have you heard that can actually write a tune that sticks in your head like a pop song, yet is still heavier than a sack of hammers. Not many that’s for sure. Luckily Lord Fowl is here to satisfy your needs.

You want some diversity. How about a little glam rock stomp? Well here you go sir, have a bit of Quicksand. It reminded me of David Bowie’s The Jean Genie with that intro riff and vocal.

What’s that you say? You’re a fan of duel vocals? Well I’ll be damned; Lord Fowl have got them, and not that all-too-common singer/shouter type thing either. Two ‘proper’ singers - powerful, soulful, solid rock voices.

If like me you dig the whole seventies thang, give Lord Fowl a go. You won’t be disappointed. Killer songs with huge hooks, mighty solos and some good old fashioned proper singing. What more could you want – apart from the free loon pants?

- Furious

October 3rd, 2012

The Ripple Effect

I'm sitting in a chair on my back porch watching the evening sun bathe itself in somnambular hues of purple and red.  I have a list of albums to listen to, but it's the end of Summer. Autumn air is creeping in through the trees and all the sludge and doom that dominates my list isn't whetting my appetite. I'm in the mood for something fresh, something wide sounding. I start flipping through the list.

"Meh, not so much, welllll.....oh...wait....Moon Queen, that sounds cool."

I  queue it up. As the first track, also the title track, opens up, the clouds form florescent letters; the name LORD FOWL shines iridescent in the dusking sky. This song has it all: tons of fresh hot riffs, great vocals, and music that is heavy as a really heavy thing, yet mellow and sure of itself.

That first listen was a couple days ago, I've listened to the whole thing several times since then. It's getting stuck in my head, it's catchy and there's nothing wrong with that.

The one thing this album has, above all else, is dynamic. Every song, while sounding like the same band, has its own personality and groove. The band keeps variety at hand.

They go from an easy going mix of "Time Travelin' Blues" era Orange Goblin and KISS on tracks such as "Touch Your Groove" and "Moon Queen" to the almost Foo Fighters colored "The Queen is Not Impressed."

The album ends with the stoned epic, "Pluto." The song is a glorious amalgamation of too many things to mention. One of the greatest moments on the album is the guitar solo in this song. The groove is slow, it takes its time, it's mostly empty air. It lets the guitars breathe. It's absolutely appropriate, and beautiful. It reminds me of the end of H.G. Well's The Time Machine , seeing the purity of a dying planet and the grace of infinite atrophy. Yeah man, space and shit.

Go buy their album, like them on facebook, send them creepy letters about how you want to have their babies, whatever your thing is.

- Headshot

September 21st, 2012

The Obelisk

You know what they say about the ladies in orbit. They really get around.

In the opening title-track of New Haven, Connecticut, foursome Lord Fowl’s Small Stone debut, Moon Queen, there appears the line, “I’m in love with a satellite lady.” Read that again: “I’m in love with a satellite lady.” If you’re wondering perhaps what the hell that could possibly mean, then you’ve taken the wrong approach to Moon Queen, and like a choose-your-adventure book, you need to turn around and start over. The dually-fronted outfit is comprised of guitarist/vocalists Vechel Jaynes and Mike Pellegrino, bassist/engineer Jon Conine and drummer Don Freeman, and like the line “I’m in love with a satellite lady,” there’s a lot about the record (their second overall behind the impressive 2008 release, Endless Dynamite) that doesn’t seem to make sense at first but ultimately requires being approached on its own level. You have to be willing to go along with it, and when you do, you’ll find the trip more than justified in that Moon Queen works in several thematic. Movement is one of them. Space is another. Issues of love, sex, masculinity all crop up throughout the 12 tracks/47 minutes of the album, and very often, one song bleeds directly into the next, as “Moon Queen” does into “Touch Your Groove,” the lyrics to which contain a clear reference to the titular character described in the opener. Because this progression continues throughout the lyrics to most of the songs – including the Iron and Wine cover “Woman King,” which starts the second half – the temptation is to think of Lord Fowl working in some kind of narrative arc, but if that’s so with the lyrics, the songs themselves and the music those lyrics rest over don’t immediately seem to have the same kind of feel. That is, when things make the turn from “Quicksand”’s relationship-as-paingiver lyric to the defiance against that in “SOS,” the music remains consistent behind it without the kind of changes in mood that would connote Moon Queen having been composed entirely as a concept record in the traditional narrative sense. Still, Jaynes and Pellegrino mention flying, breaking free, driving, running, moving and going – so motion in general, transience, is a prevalent, persistent theme. In that, the music does follow suit, because if Moon Queen does anything at all, it moves.

Shades of KISS and Mötley Crüe make themselves known in songs like “Moon Queen” and “Split,” but at its heart, Moon Queen is an American-style heavy rock record. Put to tape by Conine and mixed in the Small Stone tradition by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios in Allston, MA, it’s right in line with the label’s growing next-gen roster, sharing some classic soul influence with Gozu and a laid back grooving thickness with Wo Fat without losing hold either of its own identity or the personality of Lord Fowl themselves, which doesn’t shy away either from ‘70s rock suggestiveness (“Touch Your Groove,” “Hollow Horn”) or a bygone element of craft in the songwriting. Their methods are retro and their presentation is modern, in other words. Moon Queen touches on psychedelia – it would almost have to – in closer “Pluto,” which revives the space theme of the opener and thus rounds out the album nicely, but that’s a far cry from the ‘80s speed anthem “Streets of Evermore,” which might be as close as Lord Fowl get to metal in its intro but holds both to the band’s penchant for melody and has a hook too strong to be anything but accessible. Songs are well within radio range if radio was in the range of them, and despite the emphasis on tying their individual pieces together lyrically, there’s nothing pretentious in the band’s approach whatsoever, “Moon Queen” starting off introducing upbeat, fuzzed-out heavy rock with engaging riffs and a start-stop chorus highlighting both vocalists. Conine’s bass is an asset, and in both “Moon Queen” and “Touch Your Groove,” Freeman’s drums fill muted space nicely – never showy, always in service to the song, adding a little stomp to the bridge and verse of “Touch Your Groove” than only enhances its already formidable swagger. Because you can’t write a song about sex without low end, Conine’s basslines toward the halfway point also provide ample potency, while the lines, “Don’t you come too soon/She’s the queen of the moon,” leave little to the imagination as to the topic of discussion.

And if I’m focusing heavily on lyrics throughout this review, let that be a testament to the impression left from Pellegrino and Jaynes’ vocals, which are confident both on their own and all the more effective when used in combination, as on “Touch Your Groove.” The handclap-ready snare beats of “Split” lead to a faster rush in the riffing of the chorus, but again, both singers prove essential in conveying the song’s atmosphere, which is both intricate, Conine joining Freeman in the verse and bridge where the guitars cut in and out, and righteous on the surface – much like the album itself. One fuzz guitar, then two begin “Mutate” before the vocals kick in, and it’s an immediate cut in tempo from the song preceding, but already with Moon Queen, Lord Fowl have shown they can pull off such changes, and so the more open feel in the guitars and echoing vocals are far from out of place. But for the opener, “Mutate” is the shortest track on the album, but there’s still room for a reverbed Southern rock solo under which Freeman tosses in some choice fills, and for the lyrics to turn the “gotta fly” from “Split” into the “float away” as they are here before flight is once again taken on “Streets of Evermore.” It’s hard to pick a single of the record’s many hooks to reign as the defining one, but “Streets of Evermore” makes an excellent case, an infectious chorus topping lead guitar and releasing the tension built during the verse near perfectly as the song keeps hold of the “riding,” “driving” ideas that play both into the sex of “Touch Your Groove” and the overarching ideas of movement all across the record. Whether it’s superlative will depend on the listener, but the song has an energy all its own and is a definite standout, meandering a bit in its ending section before finally coming apart altogether, crashing into amp noise to lead into the police dispatch transmission sampled at the beginning of “Dirty Driving.” The song, which has the lines “If you’d like to call a spade a spade/Then you better understand that a pig is a pig,” closes out side A with Moon Queen’s only overt treatment of race – it’s hard to hear through the hits at the beginning, but I’m pretty sure that cop is dropping slurs while talking about shotguns in Watts – but even that is put into the context of driving, of moving, perhaps an answer to “Ridin’ Dirty” as filtered through soulful classic rock. The falsetto backing vocals in the chorus make it, and the dual guitar lead in the song’s second half ties it together with “Streets of Evermore” and the more Thin Lizzy-style bop of “The Queen is Not Impressed” still to come.

Before that, Lord Fowl’s take on Iron and Wine’s “Woman King” holds to some of the original version’s rhythmic sway, but recontextualizes it effectively as an insistent, lumbering fuzz rocker with ethereal delivery of its fantasy-minded lyrics – “Blackbird claw/Raving wing/Under the red sunlight,” etc. – and suitable crunch in Conine’s bass and Pellegrino and Jaynes’ guitar work. It’s a rearrangement more than a strict cover, but a fitting choice in any case, tying in shotgun shells with the shotguns of “Dirty Driving” and of course its title with the Moon Queen and “The Queen is Not Impressed,” which follows in a somewhat lighter mood, returning to some of the upbeat start-stop grooving of earlier in record. Conine’s bass fills are the richest Moon Queen has to offer, and again, the guitars come together for a solo that answers “Dirty Driving” while the song maintains a simpler pop structure, verses and choruses clearly distinguished and an echoing dueling run  leading into the straightforward “Quicksand,” which aside from nodding at the questioned masculinity of its predecessor with the lyric “You make me feel like a real man,” has a progression that plays out in the new riff rock tradition – infusing ‘70s guitar and the ‘90s heaviness it inspired into its own 20-years-later purposes. I can’t help but hear some of The Brought Low in it, but that might be my ears rather than a direct influence. Thicker riffing persists in “SOS,” the opening lead lines of which might be meant to convey a siren but prove far less abrasive. The chorus feels somewhat rushed, but the song is catchy, returning to the KISS-style vocal interplay of the opener, bringing back the airborne theme with the line “Breaking free the Fowl will fly” and ending with, “I’m gonna break your spell of slime,” which works well going into “Hollow Horn,” the verses of which are basically a list of things the speaker in the song is never going to let happen again.

That song culminates with an underpinning of hopelessness, but in the meantime joins the ranks of “The Queen is Not Impressed” and “Streets of Evermore” as one of Moon Queen’s most memorable. The title may or may not be a reference to a vagina, but either way, “Hollow Horn” brims with riffy fervor, Pellegrino and Jaynes once more joining forces on vocals over a groove that’s at once familiar and inviting before the ending carries in more subtle ‘80s influence. At 4:50, it’s the longest cut but for “Pluto,” to follow, but before Lord Fowl finishes out by bringing the flight, the movement and the open space that’s been in so many of their songs full-circle, they do right to throw in a late highlight. Conine opens the tense but still subdued progression of the closer, enacting a subtle build with Freeman before dropping out for the vocals to come in and returning for the louder chorus, which is slower than one might expect but still perfect for what the band is asking the song to do – border on psychedelic while remaining grounded and sum up the pulse of the whole album. It’s not an easy job, but “Pluto” does it, musically and lyrically, giving a last-minute reminder of just how subtly expansive the trip has been. More excellent solos intertwine over languid rhythm tracks, and they finish – as though commanding themselves – with the simple word “Return.” They could just as easily be heralding their own next venture as begging their lunar monarch for one, and the sweetly-toned lead that ends the album leaves me hoping they are. Lord Fowl have left themselves some room to grow in tying the elements at work in their songwriting together and expanding on the formulas they’ve begun to establish here, but Moon Queen is a strong entry point for the band into the Small Stone milieu, right-on rocking and impressively cohesive. Wherever they head from here, these songs say much for their potential going forward – and given how much of Moon Queen is dedicated to conveying movement, one doubts very much they’ll be content to stand still. Forward it is, then. Recommended.

- H.P. Taskmaster

August 29th, 2012

The Sleeping Shaman

Oh, so you have a band, that’s great. Wow, look how many notes you can play and how many times you can change tempo…and your songs have so many parts…I’m impressed!!! Now please unplug your instruments, step aside and let Lord Fowl show you just how to be a fucking great rock and roll band!!!!

Hailing out of New Haven, Connecticut, Lord Fowl are the latest in a very long line of Small Stone bands all kicking out some fuzz drenched rock and roll but there’s something about these guys that lifts them a head above their label peers. Yes folks, Lord Fowl are a real find and Small Stone should be throwing a ton of cash, hooker, drugs and booze their way right now.

Big, bold, brash, brassy and balls out Lord Fowl bring 70’s influenced rock kicking and screaming into the 21st century. They have an uncanny knack of mixing up the sheer crushing weight of Black Sabbath with the pop suss and song writing skills, not to mention huge hooks and choruses of Montrose and Kiss and throw in a touch of Thin Lizzy’s twin axe attack to create a sound that is utterly irresistible. From the opening hookfest that is the title track, through the mighty grooves of “Touch Your Groove” and the boogie blast of “Split” to the monolithic grind of “Mutate” and the Judas Priest rush of “Streets Of Evermore” and on to the majestic and totally addictive glam bubblegum stomp of “The Queen Is Not Impressed” the potential hits just keep on coming like a porn star working overtime hours. The latter should be issued as a single forthwith with a killer video to match. This is one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard this year…and in many recent years…hell, this is a hard rock classic just nestling here waiting to be found like a coiled viper!!!

I like Lord Fowl…I really REALLY like Lord Fowl…a lot!!! They make me want to drive fast, they make me want to drink beer, they make me want to fuck women far younger than myself, they make me want to throw out my entire wardrobe and replace it with nothing but denim, they make me want to throw the horns and shout “fuck yeah” as though I’ve had the greatest rock and roll lobotomy, they make me realise just why I fell in love with good, solid, heavy rock and roll some 30 years ago when I was barely out of shorts!!! This is exactly what rock and roll is meant to be, forget your genres this is the real deal and Lord Fowl aren’t ashamed to rub their sweaty rock and roll balls right in your faces!!! Go out and buy this but make sure you pick up a six pack of ale on your way home as it demands it. Possibly the best Small Stone release since Roadsaw’s self titled album…and that’s some compliment!!!

- Ollie Stygall

August 9th, 2012

Metal Temple

Woah, have I been transported back in time by about thirty years? It certainly seems that way having listened to the newest release from LORD FOWL, the excellent “Moon Queen”. This band is all about the riffs, and rightfully so – they don’t do anything all that fancy, it’s just good old Rock and Roll.

It goes without saying that I like my Rock and Metal… vintage, classic, however you want to classify anything before the nineties, so this album hits a lot of good things for me. You’ve got killer riffs, talented singing, and frantic guitars and drums. I know there are probably quite a few bands out there that try to recapture the sound of bands such as QUEEN, DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH, and not all of them pull it off. But LORD FOWL definitely do, whilst not sounding like they’re just simply copying these legendary bands. “Moon Queen” is quality from start to finish, I don’t think that I could identify and weak songs, or songs that feel out of place. But it’s not all your bog standard Rock and Roll though – you’ve got some heavier, more Metal bits, and you’ve got some more Psychedelic vibes going on at times, so they do skip around a couple of decades. It’s not a complete mish mash though; they bring out all the best bits of the bands and music styles that they’re emulating. They definitely know what they’re doing, and they do it well.

The guitar work on “Moon Queen” is amongst the best I’ve ever heard. The riffs are spread out enough that you don’t get tired of them, and they’re catchy enough to keep you going until the next one – which usually isn’t very long! And when Pellegrino, Jaynes, and Conine aren’t rocking your butts off with their fretwork, Freeman is drumming his way onto your good side with a solid rhythm that captures your attention and, most importantly, keeps it. All of these factors, along with the superb dual vocals from Jaynes and Pellegrino, gel so well together to form a brilliant package that gives you a lot more than you might expect. It really has puzzled me as to why I haven’t heard of this band before, as they definitely deserve a lot more recognition than they currently have. And despite the fact that I’ve said they’re paying tribute to the classic bands, LORD FOWL have got a lot of originality about them – they don’t imitate, they take the ingredients and bake them into a cake entirely their own flavour. So whilst they’ve got this familiarity about them, at the same time, they’re still unlike pretty much anything you’ve heard before.

I’m extremely glad that I was given this album to review, because I love finding new music that really gets me excited about what it’s doing. Without a doubt, LORD FOWL deserve so much more recognition and praise, and everyone reading this should check out the album, you’ll adore it.

- Rebecca Miller

July 29th, 2012

Broken Beard

Lord Fowl ought to be a hard drivin’ stoner rock band from Connecticut, what with all the crunch n’ roll to be found on their sophomore album, Moon Queen, but the truth of it is, they’re really a cock rock band from planet motherfucker on one of them unflappable good-time missions. Sure, songs like “Mutate,” “Streets of Evermore,” “Woman King,” and “Hollow Horn” have plenty of chug n’ puff to ‘em, but the majority of Moon Queen is strut n’ groove KISS worship slathered in melodic licks and arena-sized hooks. The sentiments expressed by their debut, Endless Dynamite, are still on full display here, Moon Queen packed with mean, explosive fun, and I’d be shocked if fire hoses and wet tees weren’t as commonly sighted at a Lord Fowl show as bloodshot eyes and Jack-soaked dreams. You know, it really doesn’t matter what Lord Fowl throws your way, be it the boss boogie of the title track or the Thin Lizzy vibe of “The Queen is Not Impressed” or the extremely addictive chorus of “SOS” or the cosmic psych of “Pluto,” because it’s equally meaty and juicy, which is a powerful and glorious combination.

- Jeff Warren

July 16th, 2012

Album Tracks

  1. Moon Queen
  2. Touch Your Groove
  3. Split
  4. Mutate
  5. Streets of Evermore
  6. Dirty Driving
  7. Woman King
  8. The Queen is Not Impressed
  9. Quicksand
  10. SOS
  11. Hollow Horn
  12. Pluto

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