Nine out of ten pundits agree: This is one group that nailed it when it came time to select a band name. Featuring a pair of Detroit ex-pats (drummer Rick Ferrante, bassist Clayton Charles) plus guitarist/vocalist Keith Gibbs, the Los Angeles trio has been doing the stoner rock thang for about three years, finally arriving in the record store bins at the behest of Motor City label Small Stone.
Following a pre-emptive boogie strike (“Chemical Lady”) the band plows directly into a slice of low-end, gut-churning heaviosity (“Roller”) that’d make even a lapsed Soundgarden fan renew his official Grunge Club dues. The band makes a few quick pit stops at the altars of Sabbath (Gibbs has an Ozzy-like timbre to his voice, in fact), Blue Cheer and early Grand Funk but, for the most part, employs a scorched-earth policy, taking no prisoners and leaving no retro-impressions to linger unduly in the brimstone-scented air. By album’s end we’re at “Yetti,” presumably an alternate spelling for the Tibetan snow monster, and therefore a metaphorical foil for the equally monstrous Sasquatch beast, the battle between titans here a bone-crunching, neck-snapping series of fuzzed-out riffs and thuggishly primal drums. Interspersed throughout the album are snippets of recordings of terrified citizens outlining their own close encounters of a forest-dwelling kind. “There’s something up there that ain’t no bear,” shudders one man, “that’s big enough to pick up two 300-pound pieces of logs and move ’em without claw marks.” The monolithic crush of sound emitted by this trio has approximately the same effect — stand back, get out of the way, it cannot be stopped.
Fred Mills writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].