Thursday, August 13, 2009

Throttlerod - Pig Charmer

Pig Charmer
Small Stone

Throttlerod has always been a sidestep away from its stoner rock brethren. Artier, more angular, often heavier, even more often just plain meaner, the trio doesn’t pound itself into a hash-piped bliss, but thrashes itself into angel dust fury on its latest spew Pig Charmer. Beggar’s Blanket, Hum and Where’s Josh? crush skulls from twenty paces, like everybody in sight owes the band money. There’s a strong postpunk vibe to Jigsaw, as if Jawbox lent the ‘rodders a few records before the tape rolled. Oddly, the band occasionally veers toward radio-friendly alternative metal – Buffalo has a distinct Nickelback whiff held at bay only by the dissonant bridge. But most of this record is as ugly as a full-grown bulldog - Down and Alabama Thunderpussy are better touchstones than anybody in the Kyuss family tree. In Throttlerod’s universe, it’s better to roar and rage than smoke and screw.

- Michael Toland

Eagle Twin - The Unkindness of Crows

Eagle Twin
The Unkindness of Crows
Southern Lord

On one of its albums, Led Zeppelin has a song called The Crunge. If I’ve ever heard it, I don’t remember what it sounds like, but I’ve always imagined that anything called The Crunge would have to sound like The Unkindness of Crows. Eagle Twin’s opus flows like the viscous sludge that oozes from a giant dead alien that’s starting to petrify after being savaged by cruise missiles. Gerard Densley (ex-Iceburn, if that means anything to anybody) tunes so far down he has to bend over to hit the top string of his axe, while Tyler Smith slowly, lovingly beats his kit into putty. Densley’s bizarre vocal style sounds like it’s coming from a Tuvan monk on a Jack & Coke bender, which only adds to the lowdown sound. The songs roll over you like a steamroller made of clay, crushing but not quite flattening and leaving behind a slimy, sticky coating of something pungent but somehow pleasant. Mmm…crungey.

- Michael Toland
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