Thursday, August 11, 2022

Grave Bathers : "Rock N Roll Fetish"


If you were going to compare this band to Black Sabbath, you would be only justified in comparing to their first album. Even then you would only find common ground in the second side of that album where it is less about songs and sounds more like a live blues jam created by drug fueled hippies with chip on their shoulder. These guys have less of a chip than some and are not going for anything as apocalyptic. The vocals are as bombastic as the energy they come at you with. They even have the nerve to throw a full-on drum solo into "Brain Thief". If you were wondering how jammy and overindulgent this gets, then there is your answer. I prefer the darker place they go on the creeping doom of " the Mole". He also belts it out with throaty guts on this one. Midway into the songs it takes a detour into trippier dimensions as the drugs have obviously kicked in at this point in the session. 

"the Tarman Cometh" has the angular boogie of Sabbath, but lest of the sinister sonics. The belted vocals fall along the groove on this one. It reminds me of the call and response that can be found in "Mississippi Queen" Drum solos are not the end of it. The smoky title track rolls off the rails with a bass solo that grooves into a jam. I like that they are too high to care if you can call a song "Mongoloid Supreme and just go for it. This is the same attitude they apply to songwriting. The same call and response syncopation we have already heard on this album. There are a few guitar solos, but this is the first one where they run with it. There isa more of a 70s grit to "Blood Money". The vocals have almost a Lemmy like feel to how they are belched out. "Vampire of the Rock Operator" has a more promising title than the same fuzzed out rumble than dominates this album.  

The guy has a decent voice, have the time there is an unhinged warble to his tenor squawk, that makes him sound like he is losing his mind. I think his voice worked better when it is slathered in effects as heard on "Nordic Funeral". It gains a rambunctious momentum. There is a more Jimi Hendrix feel to the clanging groove of the guitar on "Taser Shields". the shuffle that moves the song celebrates the guitar playing.  The song has more room to breathe which makes it one of the album's better tracks.  Sure they make more of a commitment to doom on "Devil's Bride: , but I worry less about what genre these guys are going to fall into and more about what are they doing to do most effectively.  Two minutes into the 8-minute song it seems like they are teetering on getting lost in a jam at any moment. The close the album with the lumbering thump of "Ape-like Thing".  It kind of feels like a trailer park version of Clutch covering Black Sabbath. Things blast off at the two-minute mark and the guitarist steps in for a solo I am going to round this down to an 8.5, while it is a fun listen, it is more about the performance than the song. 


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