21 March 2011
by Amit Sharma
You always know what you’re going to get with a band like Weedeater. The’re no dodgy MTV Unplugged records, or band members quitting to go find themselves or the big man upstairs. No, with Weedeater you get headlines like ‘Frontman Accidentally Blows Off Own Toe Whilst Cleaning Out Favourite Shotgun’. And that there’s the pure essence of what makes this sludge metal power trio tick.
Jason…The Dragon is drenched in feedback, overloaded with fuzz and quite literally rumbles your speakers to the brink of devastation. The pentatonic riffage is downtuned and doomy, and the low-end can only best be described as earth shattering. Given how much bigger the last record sounded, the band decided well in sticking to their guns and re-employing the services of Steve Albini as producer.
The album starts off well with ‘Hammerhandle’ and ‘Mancoon’, blending into each other seamlessly, like two heterogeneous fragments of the same notion. It’s classic Weedeater, with the guitars ringing in glorious stereo as the bass introduces the next slice of blue-note driven filth. Dixie Dave Collin’s venomous rasp provides a grittiness that ultimately makes the band sound heavier than they actually are, and there are moments on this record that could easily be mistaken for Eyehategod.
‘Turkey Warlock’ and the title track continue very much in the same fashion and whilst it is all impressive sonically, the whole feedback and bass followed by drums and guitars format starts to get rather tired. It doesn’t help that the middle tracks lack pace, and you can’t help but wonder whether spreading the more energetic moments across the album as a whole would have made a more interesting listen. As a result songs like ‘Long Gone’ come across feeling slightly mundane and lethargic, which may have actually been avoidable.
Watch Weedeater kicking it up live:
Another disappointment is the track ‘March Of The Bipolar Bear’, which rather than being a disgustingly barbarous slab of molten sludge to match the genius of it’s name, is unfortunately just a 59 second drum solo. Well, not even a drum solo to be perfectly honest, more like a fairly simplistic beat that evolves as little as it possibly can. ‘Moby Dick’, it ain’t.
No Weedeater record would be complete without a hillbilly ode to the Deep South, and Jason… The Dragon has two. Both ‘Palm And Opium’ and ‘Whiskey Creek’ add slices of humour to an album that ultimately starts well but ends feeling somewhat monotonous.
Sounds Like: Bongzilla, Eyehategod, Buzzov•en
Top Tracks: Mancoon, Hammerhandle, Palm And Opium
Weedeater – Jason…The Dragon tracklisting:
The Great Unfurling
Palms And Opium
March Of The Bipolar Bear