Tuesday 12 May 2015

Weedeater - 'Goliathan' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 19/5/2015
Label: Season of Mist

“Goliathan” CD/LP/DD track listing

1). Processional
2). Goliathan
3). Cain Enabler
4). Bow Down
5). Battered & Fried
6). Claw of the Sloth
7). Bully
8). Joseph (All Talk)
9). Reprise
10). Benaddiction

Weedeater is:

Dixie” Dave Collins | vocals/bass
Dave “Shep” Shepard | guitar
Travis “T-Boogie” Owen | Drums

Weedeater are back! On Season of Mist no less. One of the more influential and definitely most fun live bands to see, Weedeater has been awesome since their inception and 'Goliathan' continues that trend of greatness.  The opening track “Processional” starts off with what sounds like some fretless or washtub bass and some organ. The expected Weedeater sludgefest begins on the second track with a descending whiskey soaked riff that slurs right into that Southern groove we all love. Blasting right into it, the second and third songs are both great sludgey messes and the third track “Cain Enabler” in particular is a bit of rip-roaring awesomeness. “Goliathan” is no slouch either, the tones are exceptionally pounding and the mix sounds GIGANTIC on the guitar which has all of Weedeater's patented low end dominance but seems to have a touch more clarity.

The fifth track “Battered and Fried” feels like blowing off a hangover messing around with your banjo on your porch, continuing Weedeater's trend of having some really slick oddball folk-country weirdness somewhere on all their records. Closing the album the final track “Benaddiction” continues this vibe with some balls-tripping guitar effects. My favorite one of these is still “Palms of Opium” off 'Jason...the Dragon” but these two are awfully close. One or two more albums and you could probably put all of these together and have a pretty badass chill psych record if you put on these together.

The longest track on the album is both the best named and most crushing of the available offerings. Coming in with the name “Claw of the Sloth” this sloth doesn't like to be disturbed and will claw your face off. A bouncing verse riff that only Weedeater seems to be able to consistently pull off with a short ascending chorus, Weedeater lets the riff hold it down for most of the track and gives it room to make your head nod for most of it's first half. Then in the second half Weedeater turns the tempo up a bit with a pretty awesome and somewhat unusual riff that demands to be heard. This track also has what I would consider the best solo of the album and the different mix Weedeater is using here gives guitarist Dave “Shep” Shepard a lot of room to let the blues breathe.

The production on 'Goliathan' is a bit different than previous Weedeater albums with a bit more clarity on the vocals, more clarity on the drums, and what sounds like a bit of a harder pan on the guitar and bass then their previous efforts. This mix gives them a touch more separation on the guitar and bass as some of their earlier stuff was a little too low-end heavy and covered up some of the subtly of “Dixie” Dave's playing.  For longtime Weedeater fans the real question with this album is how is new drummer Travis Owen. The answer to that question is pretty good, he plays similar to the previous drummer Keith “Keko” Kirkam but admittedly the difference is noticeable as he seems a bit more technical and not as hard hitting which changes the band dynamic a bit. That being said it's still definitely Weedeater and it's still awesome.

Overall a great record and it's nice to see that Weedeater hasn't lost any steps as they get older. This album is skewed a bit towards the earlier tracks as everything after “Claw of the Sloth” is a bit on the short side on length but still high on intensity with “Bully's” blistering pace and weird out vocals a nice touch. Weedeater isn't touching any new ground in experimental music here, they just put out fucking great records.

You should buy it, blast it, and piss off your neighbors.

Words by: Chris Tedor

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