26 May 2014
In the years between Eyehategod’s last release in 2000 and their new self-titled album, we’ve seen the rise and fall of nu metal, two new US Presidents, three new Prime Ministers, Gangnam Style, Harlem Shake and a Partridge film in a pear tree…
And Eyehategod still sound like Eyehategod, and it’s brilliant.
It’s kind of jarring that you can hear a band like Eyehategod on something like Spotify, because realistically, they’re the sort of group that should only be heard on obscure 7″ vinyl releases with bands like Sloth. They’re so bloody hostile, and yet here we are in a dazzling new technological age where you can stream this backwards ass (in a good way), irate New Orleans sludge metal on the fly, in a Starbucks or something. That’s all that’s really changed though, as this is still the band that basically emerged fully formed from the soup over 20 years ago.
Normally it’d be a negative to say a band hasn’t evolved, but it’d be disappointing if an entity like Eyehategod changed. They don’t need to change at all. All you really want from them is 40 odd minutes of dissonance, riffs, and Mike Williams’ distinct yelling, of which the self-titled delivers on all fronts. It’s not quite as strung-out or mired in self-loathing as say, Dopesick (still their best, though that’s a contentious opinion), but they’ve lost nothing, and still sound angrier and more legitimate than a litany of pretenders half their age that ape their take on the New Orleans sound, whilst living in Clacton or something.
Despite not really changing though, you can tell they’ve all grown up and have maybe put a few demons to bed. There’s something a bit more focused and “together” about the new record, although obviously they’ve not suddenly started doing yoga and eating berries. This is still the same band, but they seem a bit… healthier? Can you say that? Maybe it’s the crisp production, which is miles away from the murky sound of In the Name of Suffering or Dopesick.
Album highlights include rollocking opener ‘Agitation! Propaganda!’, and ‘Trying to Crack The Hard Dollar’ which sports the kind of Jimmy Bower riff that proves just why Eyehategod do this kind of thing so much better than their peers and others. Closer ‘Age of Bootcamp’ which appeared on a previous b-sides and rarities album, is great too, a stop starty grind with Williams yelling stuff like “BARBED WIRE1”, “CORRODE!” and “WINDOW SMASHING!” As you do.
Eyehategod are back with a vengeance then. Who knows, maybe the next album won’t take so long to come out. See you in 2024.
Sounds Like: a band that missed out on every musical trend going, and is all the better for it.
Standout Tracks: Agitation! Propaganda!, Age of Bootcamp.