Weedeater

God Luck and Good Speed

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Nearly five years after their second CD, the underrated Sixteen Tons, was seemingly flushed like so much unwanted bong water down the toilet of stoner rock's decline in popularity, the members of North Carolina's Weedeater found the strength to roll up a new one after hooking up with the Southern Lord label, and duly re-emerged with a hell of a comeback album. In fact, it's' a good bet that their invariably baked fan contingent would likely bestow 2007's God Luck and Good Speed with the highest possible honor of calling it "really good shit," full-to-bursting with coarse, crusty, stoner sludgecore of the highest market value. This becomes immediately apparent on the album's impressive opening triple threat -- the earth-shaking grooves of the title track, the uproarious speed-blast of "Wizard Fight," and the groove-driven laughs of "For Evan's Sake" -- all of which surf on surging waves of feedback, their tendrils forming dirty electric causeways for an extended, uninterrupted buzz. Then suddenly, all is quiet for the one-off austerity of "Alone," featuring only a banjo, an acoustic bass, and vocalist "Dixie" Dave Collins replacing his trademark croak with a drunken baritone à la Tom Waits, stinking drunk out on the bayou. (Curiously, this track alone was recorded by Corrosion of Conformity's Mike Dean, while the rest of the album was produced by indie rock staple Steve Albini.) Punishing, viscous volume and distortion are resumed by subsequent aural bulldozers like the instrumental "$20 Peanut," the doomy but somewhat dull "Dirt Merchant," and the oddly named epic "Weed Monkey" (all interlocked by even more feedback, naturally). And to emphasize their sub-Mason Dixon line allegiance, Weedeater deliver an aptly sludge-encrusted cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Gimme Back My Bullets" as sung by Swamp Thing. Final verdict? The wait was worth it: God Luck and Good Speed is definitely some of Weedeater's strongest stuff yet.

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