Despite slaying concert audiences on a consistent basis with their venue-demolishing live stage show, Artimus Pyledriver's first trip into the studio renders them disappointingly human: just another solid yet unspectacular heavy Southern rock outfit trying to poke some life into '90s stoner rock's decaying carcass with their steel-toed boots. Shame, really, as the opening riff of "Swamp Devil" actually promises a hyperkinetic raunch-fest of Motörhead-ian proportions before failing to fulfill it, and vocalist Dave Slocum's nasal screech thankfully buzzes far closer to Brian Johnson than Jesse James Dupree. Yet probably the best thing one can say about ensuing cuts like "Gone to the Mountain," "Dixie Fight Song," and "Ride On" is that they sometimes resemble like-minded contemporaries Alabama Thunderpussy -- themselves arguably past their prime. "Shaggin' Ass" finally does its amusing title justice with some memorable guitar work, but ensuing cuts like "Natural Progression" and "Up the Creek" offer precious few novel ideas to anyone with serious experience with this kind of music. To wit, one of the last remaining standouts, "High Life" (and no it's not about beer!) sounds like a rewrite of Sir Lord Baltimore's "Hell Hound"."..not exactly a bad thing so long as you've never heard the original, one supposes. Anyway, the bottom line is that Artimus Pyledriver's music obviously requires a stage to help propel its strengths; in this studio setting their efforts are merely competent.
Artimus Pyledriver Review
by Eduardo Rivadavia