supercorrupter – Amps. Anecdotes. Annihilation. (self-released, 30 June 2016)
Horseburner – Dead Seeds, Barren Soil (self-released, 08 July 2016)
Hey all you music lovers, or people who are indifferent about music but afficionados of rambly written words! There’s more of both of those in store for you today. I’d like to share recently-released albums by a pair of local (regional) bands: supercorrupter (formerly known as The Gingerdead Men and containing members of various other area groups such as DeathCrawl and Showboy) from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (between Akron and Cleveland), and Horseburner from Parkersburg, West Virginia (about halfway down the state, going north-to-south, and right at the edge of the Ohio River). Both of these just happen to be appearing at Ohio’s Blackout Cookout next month, but why not give them a listen today?
Amps. Anecdotes. Annihilation., released at the tail end of last month, is a six-song EP that, as the band’s first official release, showcases the no-bullshit heavy rock vibe that defines supercorrupter. Full of stoner-rock riffing and plenty of fuzz, these guys don’t ever take themselves too seriously, but it’s apparent that they are dead serious when it comes to cranking out fun rock ‘n roll tunes. In fact, in a lot of places here the vocals and arrangements remind me a lot of GWAR — minus all of the costumes and every bit of gimmickry, of course. That might be primarily what GWAR are known for, but stripping away all of the pretense leaves a group of talented musicians who nimbly straddle the divide between punk rock and metal, while being well-versed in several other styles of music that tend to creep in here and there, adding distinctive color and flavor to each song.
Between the weird outer space noises that introduce opening track “Black Galaxy” and the reappearance of similar sounds at the conclusion of each of the last two tracks, “Souvenir” and “Versus the Volcano,” the band hits a variety of textures: from heavier stoner riffs in “Gutted” to the mellower guitars and semi-falsetto bluesy vocals that start off “Killing Buffalo”; from the fuzzy and just-a-touch psychedelic “Fast Times” to the slower fuzz-bass-intensive “Souvenir”; and finally “Versus the Volcano” with the introduction of Misfitsy “whoa-oaah” type background vocals. I think it’s fair to say that supercorrupter are not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but they’ve definitely succeeded in crafting well-written and solidly-performed material that sounds comfortable and familiar without ever feeling boring or rehashed, that’s surely as enjoyable to play as it is to listen to.
With 2/3 less punctuation in its title, Dead Seeds, Barren Soil has one more track than the supercorrupter release, but the album is about 70% longer overall. Through the whole thing, and within each song, the listener goes on excursions through the realms of classic metal and hard rock, all filtered through a stoner/psych/desert-rock lens. A fast-paced, driving rhythm section is combined with guitar leads that often sound searing; most of these songs include at least one lengthy instrumental section and, in true classic-hard rock fashion, whether a quick-grooving heavier track or one that sounds slightly more ballady, there’s always a killer guitar solo.
Vocally, the album varies from the desert-rock feel of opener “David” through a reverby bluesy style in “A Newfound Purity,” and in the lengthy closing track “Eleleth” it gets a bit more intense and leans more towards yelling than singing. But for the most part, the melodies and overall arrangements definitely bring to mind early Baroness more than anything else. This seems to fit together pretty nicely, as that band’s signature progressive sludge sound is not terribly far removed from the combination that Horseburner has churned together.
You can check out the digital version of Amps. Anecdotes. Annihilation. using the Bandcamp player below, and CDs are expected to be available soon. Dead Seeds, Barren Soil is out now on vinyl and CD right here.
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