Last of the Juanitas

In the Dirt

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There are lots of machines on the market that perform the same task with varying levels of quality and convenience. Last of the Juanitas doesn't hold the patent to the lumbering art metal that fills the tracks on In the Dirt any more than the Melvins or Steel Pole Bath Tub, but their execution is solid, inventive, and costs about the same. The band alternates between groaning, black tar soundscapes and furious, off-kilter riffing that recalls instrumental Black Flag experiments with a 21st century precision. Vocals feel incidental and aren't always legible, but with titles like "The Sky Is Spitting On Me, Anyway" and "Smashed By Nothing," there's no doubt someone in the band with a secret notebook full of wild poetry somewhere in the tour van. Last of the Juanitas couldn't get much heavier if they tried, and there are enough twists and turns along the course of this pummeling release to save the listener from being simply flattened.

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