By: Theron Moore
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 22/07/2016
Label: Ripple Music
This one is crazy good, and crazy Sabbath inspired too. Give this band a listen, you’ll dig it.
“The Judge” CD//DD//LP track listing:
1). The Witcher
3). Evil Woman
5). Mivub’ and Groovin’
6). Planet Doom
7). Suite of Jam
9). Rock Kickin’ Blues
You walk a fine line when you play the retro rock game. Kadavar is a band that’s pulled it off seemlessly. Radio Moscow too. Wolfmother not so. Kadavar’s music is truly music out of time, you wanna talk being born too late? Kadavar is. Radio Moscow is. But if you cross that line you wind up in imitation land. Just another sludge rock wannabe. The previously mentioned Wolfmother occupy this no man’s land. The Judge, I’m happy to say, has pulled off a real gem here with their self-titled record.
This one is crazy good, and crazy Sabbath inspired too. Dylan Jarrett’s guitar playing on “The Judge” is so close to Tony Iommi it’ll mess with your head on this record. He’s got the technique and sound down to near perfection. There’s gonna be a ton of comparisons to Sab but the question at the end of the day, is, did The Judge pull it off? Hell yeah. And then some.
“The Witcher” opens the record with a spot on take of early era Sabbath. It’s crazy how close to Sabbath this is, really makes you do a double take. But the song works as a whole. The guitar is so close to Tony Iommi’s sound it’s insane, the vocals sound so much like Ozzy, its nuts, but, you can’t stop listening to it. It has an ebb and flow to it that works, though.
“Heepster” keeps the fab Sab vibe moving forward but the vocals are starting to take shape. I can hear less Ozzy and more Tyler Swope, that band’s singer, but the Oz man inspiration still flows through.
Two things stand out about third song “Evil Woman.” Tyler Swope’s vocals are sheer velvet, nothing but heavy cream that in turn allows Jarrett’s guitar playing to get showcased here. Swope has a nice, bluesy aspect to his voice that carries this song.
“Tartarus” finds me getting into the groove of the band as a whole. Only because Swope and Jarrett are as good as they are, you tend to focus on those two and not the whole band but “Tartarus” brings The Judge into full perspective.
I won’t go through every song but you get the idea. “The Judge” as a whole works for me. It’s not Sabbath rehash, it’s four guys who know how to handle this type of sound and groove, they craft it, they shape it, in the end, they made this sound entirely their own. Give this band a listen, you’ll dig it.
“The Judge” is available here