Local rockers High Priest and Cloud Cruiser offer different takes on stoner rock

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Several bands call themselves High Priest, but we’re here to talk about the homegrown Chicago four-piece, who debuted in 2016 with the five-song EP Consecration. Last spring, they put out a new four-track EP, Sanctum (Magnetic Eye), which draws from the heavy trends of the past three decades—though it feels timeless in its no-nonsense approach to heavy-riffing stoner rock, which they top with bursts of harmony vocals laden with a generous dose of grunge’s yearning heart. The songs are all solidly midtempo headbangers, except the closer, “Offering,” which stands out as slower, danker, and growlier than the rest. At this show High Priest share the bill with local sci-fi stoner quartet Cloud Cruiser, who are celebrating the release of their first full-length, I: Capacity (available digitally via Bandcamp and on vinyl from Shuga Records). Whereas High Priest are no-frills, Cloud Cruiser get heady; I: Capacity explores a high-concept framework about aliens, cryptozoology, and the desire to get the fuck off this planet and see something else. Their sound is deeply rooted in heavy desert rock, but their nocturnal music is full of uncanny lights, slashing synthetic screeches, and overwhelming boogie.   v

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