Sleep/High on Fire riff machine Matt Pike has debuted new single, Land, an unexpectedly bluesy track electrified by the appearance of Mastodon six-stringer Brent Hinds.
Both guitarists lay down vibey solos in the song – Pike’s focuses on a spacey, Planet Caravan-esque modal approach, while Hinds digs deep into his well of psychedelic slow-blues leads, complete with lashings of phaser. The Mastodon man provides slide guitar throughout, too.
The track is taken from Pike’s forthcoming solo debut, Pike vs The Automaton, which is due out on February 18.
Pike recently discussed Hinds’ contributions to the upcoming record with Guitar World’s Amit Sharma.
“He’s straight off the porch in Alabama. That’s what he sounds like… it’s the real deal!” Pike enthused. “Give that man a banjo and he’ll blow your mind. Give him a guitar, he’ll blow your mind. Give him anything and he’ll blow your mind. He took the first solo on a song and it was so good I told him to keep on playing through the song, even over the parts with singing.
“He did some lap steel and slide, as well as this other Billy Gibbons-style solo. I was sat there thinking, ‘Fuck you! Really, man?!’ I had to go back and make my own guitar tones better, re-amping DIs and all the rest, just because he sounded so incredible. He did all his stuff at Mastodon’s studio. I think it gave all of us something to do.”
Described by Pike as a “psychedelic rock record”, Pike vs The Automaton was born of a desire to make music during the pandemic with drummer Jon Reid, and features a variety of guests, including Alyssa Maucere-Pike (Lord Dying / Grigax), Chad "Chief" Hartgrave, Steve McPeeks (West End Motel), Josh Greene (El Cerdo), Todd Burdette (Tragedy), and High on Fire's Jeff Matz.
Land is the second track to be released from the album, following the uncompromisingly heavy Alien Slut Mum.
Pike vs The Automaton is available to preorder now.
Earlier this week, Pike joined forces with Russian Circles’ Mike Sullivan to give Van Halen’s Unchained an altogether heavier makeover.