Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Blood Lust

You like Black Sabbath. That statement must be a given, or you can stop reading this post right now.

The British three-piece Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats are relatively new to the metal world. They released their debut album in 2010, and in 2011 they released their second full-length, Blood Lust. Listening to them, the fact that they're from the UK couldn't be less surprising. Their newness, on the other hand, contrasts starkly with their sound.

Blood Lust sounds a good deal like a record that was lifted straight from 1972. The production and guitar tone are right, as is the general aesthetic of the cover art. The whole thing is fuzzy, groovy, and drugged out in a way that lands them somewhere between stoner and traditional doom. The riffs sound appropriate to that time when metal bands were still tied closely to blues-based rock. The vocalist generally seems to be channeling early Ozzy, though on one track he actually reminds me a lot of late-60s John Lennon. The drumming is, as one expects in this branch of the metal tree, competent but fairly straight-forward. Most of the guitar solos focus much more on tone and flow than on speed or technicality, making them very easy to enjoy. The closing track prominently features an organ, but otherwise the musical formula is kept pretty simple and stripped-down. No bells and whistles, just good riff-driven music. The only real complaints I have are that the vocalist's voice is occasionally a bit on the shrill side, and that I wish they had scaled back the organ in the final song.

Now, I began this review the way I did for two reasons. Firstly, because if you don't like Black Sabbath you must have either never listened to them, or you have terrible taste in music. If the former is true, then you have higher priorities to address than this album. If the latter is true, then I don't want to talk to you about music. Secondly, I started that way because Black Sabbath are one of the closer comparisons I can draw to this band in musical terms. The only other group this album makes me think of is Electric Wizard, though this is not as deep and crushingly heavy as the Wiz. So those are your points of reference. If you like early Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard, I can see no reason you wouldn't thoroughly enjoy this album. And if you don't like early Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard, get the fuck off my blog.

Grade: B+
Really good trad/stoner doom. Would easily have scored higher if the heavy organ use had not basically ruined the otherwise excellent closing track.

p.s. (2/17/2012) I've been reading THAT'S NOT METAL a lot recently, and I think it's rubbed off on me a bit. I'll blame any unusually hostile-sounding speech here on that. Besides, it's hard to convey a playful tone of voice in text.

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