Unearthed (Southern Lord)
by Craig Regala
Second disc from DC-area doomsters wielding heavy structures to natural vocals and a tinge of bump boogie. Similar development from their first LP in ’93 to St. Vitus-Obsessed-Spirit Caravan’s Wino. More liquid groove, a bit rounder, feeding off what they’ve lived with and liked all these years, heavy blues rock/hard rock. They name-check Captain Beyond, (who also betrayed a taste for Allman Bros. blues-boog-swing), as well as the Groundhogs, a Brit. band hammering home “that” kinda stiff blues hard rock the early Peter Green-dominated Fleetwood Mac did a great job with before hiring Buckingham and Nicks to move them into pure pop. (Don’t believe me? Check the tunes the Melvins and Judas Priest have covered by that band, “Rattlesnake Shake” and “The Green Manalishi,” respectively.)
Internal Void are digging in fertile loam that hasn’t gotten the respect lesser heftless rock has. So many heavy bands exist and have their own identity, but you’d never know it as it all gets lumped into a media pile. Well, it’s a helluva pile, and as you get closer, you see it’s made up of many distinct and defined chunks… Check the Southern Lord roster: these guys, Goatsnake, and the Want all heave stone but aren’t “alike,” ya know?
So yeah, you can read this as similar in heft to pappy Sabbath, basically because they developed the language and were there first – mainly by dint of birth, with a feel very American. The tunes are coherent and well-structured, with nice pacing and a strong sense of dynamic in the chug-swing akin to a less loopy mid-Cathedral, if you’re a follower of that sort of thing. If you happen to be new to the heavy stuff or looking for something solid without subcultural detris or childish parent-baiting that locks down on the rock, this’ll do ya, as will The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight and the new Atomic Bitchwax. Three good ones working hard rockin’ stuff in different directions like, say, Deep Purple, Sabbath and Frank Marino or somethin’.
(PO Box 291967 Los Angeles, CA 90029)