Hipsters unite! Hey, we might still listen to a lot of the same music we grew up on, but a lot of times my ears need something new and on the fringe. Metal Blade Records, the home of the heaviest music of our generation has achieved some serious success delving into some new ground recently. The label has been generating some justified buzz by releasing the latest albums from two British bands who are not your stereotypical metal acts but bands I find myself listening to a great deal.
Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats- Mind Control (Metal Blade)
Next to the juggernaut of hype and publicity surrounding the admittedly tuneful Swedish band Ghost, the quieter word-of-mouth surrounding the U.K. act Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats may have slid under some of our readers’ radar. This is their third overall album and follow up to their very bootlegged and sought after album, 2011’s “Bloodlust’.
The natural question here is, after generating a nice bit of unexpected attention with a very good album, would they be able to even come close on the follow up. After listening to “Mind Control” a few dozen times the answer is a resoundingly loud, YES! All of the elements that made “Bloodlust’ sound so interesting a year or so ago have been retained yet improved upon with “Mind Control”.
The songs were very good last time around but they are even better here, the band’s style of Black Sabbath crossed with John Lennon truly shines with a slightly improved production quality and a batch of start to finish good songs. The theme this time around is more Charlie Manson/Jim Jones “desert death cult” and Uncle Acid’s vision seems as sharp as ever on songs like “Mind Crawler”, “Devil’s Work” and “Follow The Leader”. The band still writes riffs that sound like they discovered a vault of unheard Tony Iommi tapes on songs like “Poison Apple”. What’s great is the heaviness isn’t lost this time out, but there is also a slightly wider spectrum of music and atmosphere and even more sophisticated lyrics here on “Mind Control”. Their live shows seem to just be heating up overseas but Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats are on the short list of bands we need to see touring here in the U.S.
Purson- The Circle and The Blue Door (Metal Blade)
A band that is also on that short list of must-hear acts is Purson, another phenomenal 60s and 70s influenced act on Metal Blade which manages to have much of the same mystique and appeal of Uncle Acid while sounding essentially nothing like them. The moment I listened to “The Circle and The Blue Door” I realized that Brian Slagel and Metal Blade are on some seriously good shit.
The album impresses because it plays to the vocal strengths of the beautiful yet supremely talented Rosalie Cunningham while making it abundantly clear that Purson is a true band. If you utilize Youtube you’ll see that the band’s live shows are already very tight, yet the album manages to capture a lot of the spirit of the same spontaneous energy proggy, glammy, spooky records which clearly inspired them. It pains me to compare them to other bands but you are more likely to hear glimpses of The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane and Barrett-era Pink Floyd on this album than say, Black Sabbath, although the album does have plenty of riffy, heavy moments including “Spiderwood Farm”.
The band’s lyrics are most often beyond inspired and dance with the melodies winding their way into your psyche, as in the lead single/video “Leaning On A Bear” where Rosalie sings “In the land of hopes and dreams, where children swarm like flies, all around my fountain of soft lies”. I love this band and am glad Metal Blade prez Brian Slagel told us that both their album and Uncle Acid’s will soon be available on vinyl here in the U.S. so we can all stop paying an arm and a leg for import versions. In the meantime, pick up the CD or the download!
You can bet we will be featuring both Purson and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats soon on LRI.