Sunday 29 April 2012

The Disease Concept - 'Liquor Bottles & Broken Steel' EP (Review)

By: Aaron Pickford

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 13/04/2012
Label: Goat Skull Records

Talking of a beating!  That is exactly what this album feels like, being pistol whipped with a.44 Magnum.  It is bloody ferocious.  A 30 minute ass whooping.

‘Liquor Bottles & Broken Steel’ CD//DD tracklisting

1. Black Cocaine (3:28)
2. Double Winner (7:30)
3. Troublemaker Makes Trouble (4:39)
4. Undignified Death (4:25)
5. Suboxone Blues (Rock Bottom) (9:12)

Total Running time: (28:34)

The Disease Concept is

David Szulkin (Blood Farmers) | Guitars
Tommy Southard (Solace) | Guitars
Jesse Kling (Sollubi) | Vocals
Corey Bing (Fistula) | Drums
Chris Griffiths (Sollubi) | Bass

The Review:

To say I was excited by this release, is the understatement of the year, and when it finally dropped through the letterbox, I went berserk.  Why so excited?  Because the band members have featured in some of the best underground sludge/stoner/doom bands around and have a history of the highest pedigree.  So does the music warrant such praise?  Abso-fuckin-lutely, it does.  No bullshit, this is by far my favourite release of the year so far and will take some beating.  Talking of a beating!  That is exactly what this album feels like, being pistol whipped with a.44 Magnum.  It is bloody ferocious.  A 30 minute ass whooping.  Now if that hasn't got you excited, then you need your head examined.

The Disease Concept sound like the best sludge metal garage band you have never heard and you would be fool not to get this record.  I would describe this band as a sludge metal Poison Idea, raw, visceral and unrefined.  The album kicks off with 'Black Cocaine', an opening bass riff and the guitars kick in, like a boot to the chest, knocking the breathe out of you, 'Acid heads, warned me, to stay away from the black cocaine,' is spewed out and it takes you less than 30 seconds to realise, that this record is gonna be truly venomous and contemptuous.  The guitars, bass and drums sound brutal and raw, having that garage band feel to it: stripped down, bare and overwhelmingly stark.  The song is sublime, feeling like it does when you dowse ointment on exposed subcutaneous tissue, and yet for all the pain, you know it will make you feel better.  It might make you wince, but it is a pain worth suffering, because the record just gets better and better.

'Double Winner' is next and you’re treated to a monumental riff, think the sludgiest that Fistula or Eyehategod have ever produced and you're about halfway close to understanding how good it sounds.  Everything for the first 2 and a half minutes reminds me of what it would be like if those two bands were jamming it out, a slow pounding riff, building up until another massive riff kicks in, with the drums seemingly being battered like raw meat.  'We're taking the pain train and never coming back'.  The Poison Idea comparison comes from the vocals, Jesse Kling sounds like a meaner, angrier Jerry A and he is a venomous front man, like the notorious G.G. Allin famously said 'With G.G, you don't get would you expect - you get what you deserve.'  This song also has a strong stoner doom vibe to it, the musicality of the song reminds me of Solace and is it any wonder, given that one of the guitarists plays in that band.  Again the song is brash, ballsy and downright ugly, finishing with a lead guitar flurry and a nod to Iron Maiden, with it's synchronised dual guitar finish.

'Troublemaker Makes Trouble', is a further example of discordant dissonance, the song title gives you a hint of what is in store for you, with the lyrics 'Scumbag! Asshole! Troublemaker makes trouble, selling one gram bags.' It appears to be a song about morality and the underbelly of society praying on the vulnerable, with The Disease Concept intent on inflicting there own brand of Charles Bronson vigilante style justice.  For all the intensity of the song and indeed the album, gushing with Sabbathian influence, it is performed with flair and vigour.  Indeed on this song in particular, the lead work is amazing, with even a nod to hardcore or grindcore during the faster moments of the song.  Again, the drums pound and batter you into dust.  If you're still conscious after the aforementioned beating, 'Undignified Death' continues the punishment.  This song is straight out of the blocks and is the most uptempo track on the record, retaining a sludge doom vibe, there is also a nod to stoner rock, and it is bass heavy and thick sounding, reminding me of latter day Fistula.  The lead work and drums are fantastic, it is just jaw dropping with the amount of gigantic riffs on offer, added to that, the strong influence of ‘Kill Em' All’ era Metallica playing Black Sabbath towards the end of the track.  It is just phenomenal; the record has to rate as some of the best work the band members have ever produced. 

'Suboxone Blues (Rock Bottom)', is the final song on the record and it is arguable the best track, slow brooding sludge metal from the bowels of hell.  This song is Travis Bickle sludge, in short this song feels like a band feeling contempt for the music industry and some of the god awful music being churned out today.  The Disease Concept has produced not only a song but a record which is their raised middle finger to them all.  This is The Disease Concept message to paraphrase Mr. Bickle , 'Listen you f**kers, you screwheads, we're a band who would not take it anymore, a band who have stood up against the scum, the c**ts, the dogs, the filth and the sh*t.  We're a band who have stood up and showed the rest how it is done'.  I can say no-more, except this record is truly breathtaking and I can't wait for number two.  Horns up to arguably my favourite record of the year!

‘Liquor Bottles & Broken Steel’ is available on CD here and download here 

Band info: Facebook | Bandcamp