Southern Gun Culture/SuperHeavyGoatAss
by Brian Varney
Let’s take a look back at the inaugural release by Arclight, which has gone on to become one of the heppest little labels in the land. This split contains four tracks each from Southern Gun Culture and SuperHeavyGoatAss (a name change might not be a bad idea here), which means you’re getting two EPs for the price of one or something. I know very little about either band, and from the booklet, it appears that they share a member, which may help to explain the sonic similarities between the two. In fact, without having the tracklist in front of you, it may be difficult to tell when Southern Gun Culture exits stage left and SuperHeavyGoatAss enters. Both bands favor the lethargic tempos and rafter-rumbling frequencies of the underground hard rock that lotsa folks like to call “stoner rock,” though Southern Gun Culture throw in some vocal harmonies for variety every now and then. Southern rock is a pretty huge influence on both bands, but as they’re both from Texas, they come by it honestly.
I suppose I’m the target audience for this sort of release, but in order to make this sort of thing really stick, you’ve gotta either be able to write great songs (like Halfway To Gone) or throw down a really ferocious attack (like Throttlerod). The bands present here don’t really possess either of these skills, and the release has a tentative quality, as if the bands are not quite sure of themselves. I wouldn’t mind checking out subsequent releases by either artist, though.