Something Wicked

Written by: GR on 21/06/2011 01:38:41

"This is doom-rock. This is EARTHRIDE", proclaims the promotional blurb on the back of my copy of "Something Wicked". Seems a good place to start: this is indeed the band known as Earthride - four hairy dudes from that most doom-linked of States, Maryland, USA. Having been around since 1997 and built up a decent reputation in the underground, 2010 saw them put out only their third album, which has now been given a wider release by Doomentia. With the members having been or currently in a plethora of bands, including Dave Sherman (previously of Spirit Caravan along with doom legend Wino - more on him later) and Eric Little (ex-Internal Void), this is a band that knows what it's doing and wastes no time in demonstrating just that.

The opener and title-track introduces the album with a screech of feedback before the first of many highly enjoyable and warm doomy riffs lurches into life and leads us into the "Something Wicked" swamp - booze and drugs in hand. The track perfectly highlights the sort of material that is to follow, with the slow but groovy main riff complemented by crushing slower sections as well as a catchy upbeat part and old-school soloing. Sherman's vocals are one of the defining elements of the band's sound, mixing a whiskey-soaked Lemmy-ish rasp with a bit of a clean stoner/southern type croon. That may not be to everyone's liking but switching between the styles is an effective contrasting tool (for want of a better word) and they add a character to the music that makes this release all the more enjoyable. It's easy enough to just groove to the record's bonged-out tunes and even sing along to the many memorable lines that sneak into your head, but it's when you take note of the lyrics covering death, drugs and destruction that the darker side of Earthride becomes apparent. The epic "Watch the Children Play" has an almost apocalyptic feel to it.

Whilst most sources label Earthride simply as a doom metal band, here they certainly have an overall rock n roll vibe going on in many places, mostly leaning towards the stoner camp. "Make Up Your Mind" has a catchy stoner rock feel, reminding me slightly of a tune by Corruption and there's a bit of southern atmosphere on the likes of "Destruction Song". "Grip The Wheel" may start off as a comparatively fast-paced driving groover but soon introduces a massive doomy riff that would totally kill in the live environment. Hell, all of the songs make me want to get fucked-up and see they band blasting them out in some dingy bar. It's also clear that Earthride are not ones to make things any more complicated than necessary - this is the sound of four men, their instruments, and not much else. I say four, but as alluded to earlier the inimitable Mr Weinrich makes an appearance, on "Supernatural Illusion", one of the most traditional numbers that reminds just how indebted this genre is to the old-school. Earthride aren't doing anything original here but they're not trying to and "Something Wicked" is a damn good effort on all fronts.

Download: Something Wicked, Supernatural Illusion, Grip the Wheel
For The Fans Of: Doom, bongs and moonshine
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 03.05.2011
Doomentia Records

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