Monday 9 June 2014

Eyehategod - S/T (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 27/5/2014
Label : Housecore Records/Century Media Records

EYEHATEGOD, track listing :

1). Agitation! Propaganda! 02:23
2). Trying to Crack the Hard Dollar 03:02
3). Parish Motel Sickness 03:41
4). Quitter’s Offensive 03:45
5). Nobody Told Me 03:39
6). Worthless Rescue 03:57
7). Framed to the Wall 03:27
8). Robitussin and Rejection 03:38
9). Flags and Cities Bound 07:10
10). Medicine Noose 03:22
11). The Age of Bootcamp 05:10

The Band :

Jimmy Bower | Guitars
Mike Williams | Vocals
Brian Patton | Guitars
Gary Mader | Bass
Joe LaCaze (R.I.P. 2013) | Drums on the record
Aaron Hill (2013 – present) | Drums

Review :

Question 1: is fourteen years a long time?

Answer: of course it is, jackass.

Dumb question, Maffew. Fourteen years is most definitely a LONG period of time. A lot has happened to the world in the past fourteen years. Financial crisis, various dependencies, the steadily advancing decline of human civilisation. Also Facebook. All of which leads us to the musical climate we are in today...

Question 2: so is the EHG trademark brand of nihilism still relevant then?

Answer: same again.

More so than ever, I'd wager. Many a collective of young pups have taken aim squarely at the throne and a few have come very close, but as Chris Lambert said that one time - "There can be only one".

Fourteen years since they last released an album, EHG have finally returned to try and remind us all who runs this shit. Arrests, addictions, a fucking HURRICANE - none of which has managed to conquer them. This new self titled effort is ballsy, bluesy, pissed off and so filthy that it'll probably give you a dose of Hep C if you hold it in a funny way for long enough.

First thing any of us heard in the way of new material was of course 'Agitation! Propaganda!'. Ask Mike Williams what he classes his band as playing and more than likely he'll tell you that it's punk rock. And this is punk rock, the very definition of the thing. Angry, revolutionary, confrontational, the works. Piss and vinegar hardcore riffing and blasting beats meld with IX's classically skewed pessimism. The man likes to confuse, and even though there is pretty much zero optimism concealed within the lyrics the whole track still manages to come across as a call to arms. Keep 'em guessing, I guess.

It isn't long before that old friend rears it's ugly, squalid head either. Feedback as a weapon has pretty much always been the mantra of Eyehategod. It also welcomes forth 'Parish Motel Sickness', which wouldn't be out of place on what many people would deem the definitive album of the band's back catalogue, 'Take As Needed For Pain'. We are indeed dealing with that level of renewed bite, an invigoration of the attack, a refreshing of the assault. They almost sound like young men again, even angrier this time around because the planet has gone that much further down the shitter. Gigantic grooves abound toward the end, possibly the best riffs they have ever written. Bower power isn't just produced behind a drum kit. Jimmy 4 Prez.

I really could ramble on all day about this. You'd look like the dude that drinks from the wrong cup in Raiders by the time I was done. So very many highlights. 'Framed To The Wall' is just ridiculous. More hardcore worship, like it had all gone down in NOLA instead of NY, DC, Boston or LA. All that vitality, with a gooey centre of pure resentment. Williams' has never sounded better, his modern clarity focusing his general state of discontent to an almost lethal point. The man's mind has always been razor sharp and now his delivery is too. Authority, you have been warned.

It would be remiss of me to not make note of the final contributions of late drummer Joey LaCaze. What an absolute joy it is that his recorded parts have made their way onto this most fitting of final tributes. The man was a sorely underrated drummer, and this will surely go some way toward cementing in his absence what many of us knew to be true while he was present. Rest in power, good sir.

In summary, S/T is simply fucking amazing. A powerhouse of attitude, and not even a return to the ways of old. I firmly believe that this is the best EHG album recorded, a celebration of what they were and the new found potential they have realised. It sounds great, it feels better and it will blow your nuts / lady nuts clean off.

Was it worth the fourteen year wait? Bet your ass it was, kid.

Words by : Matt Fitton

You can get it here and in the USA here