Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Southern Badass - Born in Mud

I recently received an email from Arno Bechet of the band Southern Badass. A French project, Southern Badass makes southern stoner metal. In June they (or just he, as I understand it to be a solo act) released Born in Mud,  which can be found on their bandcamp here.

Arno claims that his goal with this music is to pay tribute to groups like Down and Corrosion of Conformity, and that comes through in the material. It's definitely in that vein, though perhaps just a touch more on the rock (rather than purely metal) end of the spectrum than those bands. The riffs have that good meaty southern flair to them, and the music is catchy and enjoyable. Something about southern metal just always sounds like the bands playing it are having a good time, and this is no exception in that regard. It's a quality that I find generally enhances the overall listening experience.

The vocals, for me, are the one downside of this record. They're largely delivered in a somewhat peculiar clean style that will probably appeal to some people due to their weirdly idiosyncratic nature, but I personally found them somewhat off-putting. That said, they do stand out, so the band avoids sounding like a clone.

On the whole, this was pretty entertaining. It pays fitting tribute to its predecessors, but it has enough individuality to separate itself from them. I'm not a fan of the vocals, but I have a feeling they fall into that Lee Dorrian variety of love-or-hate styles, so other listeners may enjoy them.

Grade: B-

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