Thursday, May 8, 2014

Eyehategod : S/t

No fools when it comes to the current climate of music todays these guys know the time is right to claim their place as the forefathers of the kind of grindy sludge coming out today. Back in the late 80's these guys were ahead of their time and today the kids have caught up to speed. The opener is quick paced and punk driven. They do sway into the more sludge sound that I think of when they come to mind. Not new ground at all for these guys.

Working closely with Housecore Records, these veterans know how to make what they do sound good. There is kind of abrasion you would expect. The first thing that sounds like a change is the groove to "Cracking the Hard Dollar" , its catchy enough to hook me in. Mike Williams' vocals are more understanble and less harsh now years later than they seemed like the were back in 1989, when I first found these guys. There isn't as much scathing in the gurgle of the once tortured vocal chors. He is by no means crooning or betraying what the band is about.

By the third song it's obvious the band has perfected the art of riff writing. In someways this is not unlike Phil Anselmo's last solo album maybe more organic and blues inflected, but the New Orleans sound is firmly in place with all the Sabbath worship that comes with it. "Quitter's Offensive" has a mix of boogie and drugged lethargy in it's chug.It almost like a more punk Down album. The guitars are perhaps not as dense even when they lock in on the heavier chugs, but they are no less effective.

Savy songwriting abounds to the point it could be argued this album is better written and more thought out than the classic material. It does perhaps not have the same level of youthful venom, but being an older wiser bands hasn't slowed these guys down too much."Nobody Told Me" that similar accents as "Lord of This World"  and a somewhat stoner feel lingers over some of the songs that follow along with touches of southern rock on tracks like "Worthless Rescue" which is probably about post -Katrina life.

These guys started off embracing more of a punk thing and those roots are stage dived into on " Framed to the Wall" which has some good punches to it. It's very raw and doesn't just stay in the power-chords , but lets itself grow into a more sludgey rumble. "Robitussin and Rejection" has an angular punch drunk stagger to the lumbering riff. It eventually finds it chug and comes together.

They get more doom tinged and pass the seven minute mark with "Flags and Cities Bound" where Williams couples his more punk scowling howl with spoken word. This is a cool effect and makes this stand out. It also reminds me of the Corrections House stuff he did last year.When the riff kicks in it is pretty powerful and this is one of the albums high points. They stay dialed into this slower more powerful riffage on "Medicine Noose". The pace picks up a minute in, and finds them taking a more Black Flag pace than Black Sabbath.

The album closes with the deliberate gutter stomp of " The Age of Bootcamp".The lyrics are discernible on this one and pretty cool.The feedback squeals out of every accent.This album sounds great and if you are a fan then it will hold up to your expectations in regards to it's ability to stand up next to the rest of their material. I wasn't really in the mood for this sort of thing when I was listening to it , but I know it accomplishes what they set out to do so I round it up to an 8.  

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