Lifetime of Gray Skies

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Part of the same underground meeting place of heavy metal intensity and post-hardcore artsy emo moping that spawned bands like City of Caterpillar, Anodyne also sounds like they're familiar with the stoner rock likes of Kyuss. The Boston-to-New York trio shows remarkable skill at marrying bass-heavy slow riffage to hardcore brevity. Almost all of the album's 13 songs are a few seconds on either side of two minutes flat, just enough time to introduce a pile-driver riff, growl a couple of quick verses, and catch your breath before the next blast. However, the album's most atypical song is also by far its best: the six-plus-minute "Blood Meridian" builds overdubbed layers of feedback and deliberately fractured, off-kilter drumming into some kind of psychedelic marriage of Sonic Youth and Black Sabbath. This song hints at a looser, more experimental side to Anodyne's music that might be more fruitfully explored in the future.

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