In the Mushroom (TMC)
by Craig Regala
Lid is Trouble’s singer (Eric Wagner) and Anathema’s Danny Cavanaugh. It’s damn near a Trouble record on ‘shrooms. Googlyier, a lighter touch, and much less “metal” than Trouble’s post-Sabbath groove-thump. The bite isn’t as ferocious, the hippie/psych underpinnings more visible. There’s acoustic guitar amidst the rumble, both the Monkees (well, Dolenz) and the Beatles are covered, which sonically makes this sort of a match to the Seattle supergroup’s offshoot, Mad Season, with touches of Sap, Jar of… Alice in Chains. The tunes are good, the playing supportive, and the vibe relatively melancholy. Dunno if it’s due to the alphabetic proximity to the most recent King’s X, Tape Head, but the fully-rounded take on rock as rock (y’know, using the range of Led Zep as an influence, not the stuffed trousers) works.
Hell, it’s like slack-crap hair metal never existed, and really, in my world, it never did. These songs roll around mid/slow tempo with hanging chords, pensively expressive vocals with impeccable phrasing, and nicely fleshed-out arrangements where the tune can breathe. The acoustic-based material is pretty, without becoming sticky. It’s too bad radio will never tuck this between Soundgarden and the Screaming Trees. Time to hook these guys up with Monster Magnet for a split EP, like the Kyuss/Wool split. Pack an overnight bag and send ’em to the desert for a long weekend with a 16-track.
(PO Box 629 Port Washington, NY 11050)