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Adrift Review

by Phil Freeman

Scott "Wino" Weinrich is a cult hero to doom metal enthusiasts across the globe; his unique voice and organic, biker-psych guitar tone have won him admirers with bands like St. Vitus, the Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, the Hidden Hand and Shrinebuilder, among others. But despite being as recognizable and as indisputably in charge of his various bands as Lemmy, it's only in recent years that he's started releasing albums under his own name. This primarily acoustic disc (there are electric guitar solos on several tracks, but no full-band performances) follows 2008's Punctuated Equilibrium, and while it's somewhat quieter, it's no less intense than his fully electrified material. Wino strums his acoustic guitar hard, and sings in a road-hardened voice that never dips into guttural theatrics. He multitracks and accompanies himself, and on some tracks, you can hear his foot thumping the rhythm like John Lee Hooker. Of the album's 12 tracks, two are covers: Motörhead's "Iron Horse/Born to Lose" and Savoy Brown's "Shot in the Head." Both are transformed into slow, melancholy laments, the defiant lyrics of the Motörhead song becoming something more like the dawning self-awareness of an aging biker who realizes a lifetime of choices have led him so far down the road that there's no turning back. Wino, like Lemmy, is a lifer who couldn't do anything but make music and tour even if he wanted to, and Adrift is an album that faces that reality with stoicism and power. It also reveals his too-often-hidden sensitive side amid a discography that's all about amp-frying riffs and thundering drums.

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