Halfway to Gone split (Game Two/Underdogma)
by Brian Varney
As this stoner rock (yeah, yeah, I don’t like the name either, but whattya gonna do?) thing perpetuates itself more and more, the lineage of bands becomes increasingly tough to follow. Here we have the debut waxing from Halfway to Gone, which features two former members of Solarized, which featured members of Daisycutter, who in turn were Monster Magnet related… You get the point. Side projects abound, factions split to form new bands, etc. I suppose this sort of thing is bound to happen within any musical genre, but it seems especially prominent with the stoner genre. I could make up a bunch of flowery theories about how this reinforces the grassroots nature of the movement, but the truth is that I don’t know what, if anything, it means.
But, no matter. Whatever their relationship to others, Halfway to Gone have plenty of their own muscle to stand on. It’s hard to get a general picture of a band from only two songs, but I can definitely hear some of the same zoner/stoner turf that Solarized wandered around in their brief recorded tenure. The sound is thicker, fuzzier, and more muscular than Solarized, and I’d say, from the brief evidence presented herein, that the change was for the better. Halfway to Gone, simply put, beat ass. Their full-length comes out on Small Stone in late February. I recommend you start counting the days.
Alabama Thunderpussy are a band that I’ve never much cared for, though I couldn’t tell you why. I certainly don’t think they’re horrible; their stuff just doesn’t stick to my brain. The singer sounds like he’d be more at home fronting a hardcore band, but the rest of the band is remarkably well tied into their Southern-fried “thing.” A much better example of a band exploring similar territory would be Roadsaw, whose new double LP Rawk ‘n’ Roll should already be in your collection.
(PO Box 4715 Baltimore, MD 21211; PO Box 5070 Fredericksburg, VA 22403)