January 14, 2014
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats
by Jasen Ribadenera
I quit taking drugs and drinking heavily and I’ve never felt better. I’m in a healthy and loving relationship and a generally happy even-keeled man these days but if there was ever an album that could persuade me to dub it straight to cassette and pop it in a Walkman while I’m getting in a stolen van full of sawed-off’s en route to a Christian singles mixer this would definitely be that album. One of ’em at least.
This English “psychedelic doom metal band from Cambridge” has finally done what every stoner metal band strives to do; make an album that’s almost as good as Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” (with whom they are also touring with). It’s so sunny and nice to witness a band at perfect peace with their craft and at the same time gettin’ their fucking come up. It’s just too bad they have to be so good on such a thieving, shady record label like Metal Blade. But I digress. Let’s get right to it.
As I was saying, Mind Control is a grunting monument to Marshall stack and Gibson SG damaged rock n’ roll that veers wildly through the mayhem. It’s as good as it gets these days. What grabs me right off the bat during “Mind Crawler,” the fist track, is that the vocals sit perfectly in the mix. They’re the same level as the guitars which to me is a requisite for any “doom metal” record. Yup. Then there’s a song like “Death Valley Blues” which comes on like the Beatles if the Beatles had dabbled in Satanism instead of transcendental meditation. Another curve ball gets tossed in the form of the very next song “Follow The Leader” which actually sounds like the band has recently adopted TM into its daily repertoire. That’s what gets me about this record and Uncle Acid in general. These guys aren’t afraid to get weird with it. As for hazy, galloping metal there’s plenty of it to go around with “Evil Love” and “Poison Apple” to name only a couple. So, yeah, there’s that too. If I was forced, gun to head, to name some comparisons I’d scream out the obvious like Sabbath, Witch and early Alice Cooper but if I was sure that they were about to pull the trigger I’d even be so bold as to mutter “Life Of Agony” and “Black Flag.”
So… now that that’s all out of the way let me just say I really find it a dragging chore to go on and on describing the sound of an amazing record with words like “heavy” or “spiritual” or “wicked awesome” so please allow me to sum it up in a way which I’m most comfortable. Mind Control is a million elephants begrudgingly being led through the icy plains at midnight during the winter solstice by a 200,000-leash pulling Grizzly Adams, but in a good way. Preferred listening time is 5:10 PM on a Monday, 10:10 PM on a Friday, or midnight any fucking day of the week.
Do the math. Here’s the video for “Mind Crawler”
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