Before I turn to Weedeater masterpiece God Luck and Good Speed, let me explain. I came late to the sludge party.
I didn’t even know what sludge was until I was blown away by Baroness’ Blue Record. Excited about the Georgians’ thrilling sound, I devoured every morsel of information I could about them
A word that kept coming up was “sludge”. Down the rabbit hole I tumbled headfirst and now I’m hooked. Not on pure sludge – single genre music is boring as batshit.
Give me the eclectic sludgy flavours of Baroness, Kylesa, Black Tusk or Inter Arma et al over the colourless stew served up by the old guard of Eyehategod, Crowbar or Grief any day of the week. They are just so pedestrian.
Which neatly brings me back to Weedeater.
Despite being aware of their legendary status and roots in similarly cult bands Buzz*oven and Bongzilla, I dismissed them as sludge purists. To me that means one-paced, depressing and dull. Their redneck hillbilly image certainly didn’t help either.
Yet with the buzz around the imminent release of new album Jason… The Dragon, I decided to give Weedeater a proper chance.
How wrong I was!
Low-slung fuzzy bass-driven grooves that swing like a motherfucker. Hummable tunes. Murderously catchy riffs. Banjo. Ridiculous drop-tunings. More distortion than seems humanly possible.
I literally can’t stop listening to this album. How could I have missed such a fantastic record?
From the opening sustained feedback drone and crackling red-eyed riff, God Luck and Good Speed is a blast. It achieves instant heavy. Better than that, instant fucking swing and groove. The ultra-thick bass tone just seeps into you, setting off an irresistible slow head nod.
Weedeater crank it up for the first time on the instrumental Wizard Fight – a definite stand-out. Apart from the titular two-word scream that introduces the song, it’s simply an overdriven stoner-blues riff-lover’s wet dream. At only 2:18, I just wish it was longer. It may owe a fair debt to early Sabbath but, man, it’s just so well executed.
The album’s structure is simple but effective: alternating between swimming through glue and grooving like a stoned redneck rocking out on the porch. Bridging the two halves of the record is a lovable oddity, Alone, featuring nothing but banjo and barroom croon.
There’s not a weak track. Even my two-year-old son was singing the chorus of Lynyrd Skynyrd cover Gimme Back My Bullets, while $20 Peanut is almost as good as the similar Wizard Fight. Even the off-kilter piano outro Willow seems just right.
I’m always so excited to discover a new love for a great band, especially one you had written off. Maybe I should give Eyehategod another go…