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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Deeper High

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2005 at 12:00 AM

There are numbskull riffs, thud-pocket drumming and (we imagine) nerve-pinching head flips. There are tangled-up-in-blues guitar leads flittering through wah pedals and scads of other Stooges finger-pistols. Shit, even the cowbell on “Turn to Stone” could be turned up. But don’t yawn just yet, chief; this beast of a bong-loading, zit-squishing, porn-watching, beer-gut fueling, stoner-psyche record moves through the system like a sizzling rush of crystal meth.

Ably recorded in Ferndale, this 11-song disc (the Detroit band’s second) finds croon-howl-croon frontman Mark Miers back in the fold, eluding goofy metal posturing. On “Machine,” he and band sound positively pissed-off, and such impressive Bush-defiant phrases as “Don’t want it/Don’t need it/Don’t want your war machine” rattle your head long after the CD has been shelved, long after another mother’s son has been buried in Arlington.

“Dark Aftermath” shows, um, a sensitive side; it’s filled with lofty guitar melodies ready-made for open beers on the open road, watching the haunted Detroit skyline recede in the rearview. “Bury Me Alive” could’ve been an Alice Cooper ditty with Slash guesting, and the mosh-ready “Roll You” even kicks-starts with a cop of the Damned’s “Neat Neat Neat” bassline (RIP Novadriver bassist James B. Anders). That’s class.

The instrumental “Blackout” contains climaxes that hoary guitar heroes the world over strive for — it’s the aural equivalent of syrupy Peter North cum shots strung together in a video montage and viewed in slo-mo. Hence the finishing “Whiteout,” to which we imagine a spent North slowly toweling himself off. So, yes, Deeper High is a fine, fine record.

Brian Smith is the music editor of Metro Times. Send comments to bsmith@metrotimes.com.

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