Dog Days

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Without the benefit of meaningful grooves, the music of lesser stoner metal/doom metal recordings like Dog Days has a tiring repetitiveness. While Goatsnake proved during their late-'90s heyday that they could occasionally capture that elusive moment of sludge-guitar magic, discs like this 2000 Southern Lord release reveal the band's many creative weaknesses. Slow-grinders like "The Orphan" and "Heartbreaker" go nowhere, and more upbeat tracks like "Long Gone" do have some movement, but fail to either cover new ground or skillfully twist older favorites. Singer Peter Stahl's clean, often meandering vocals have a psychedelic influence that isn't at all recognized by the rest of Goatsnake's membership, deepening the textural morass. Dog Days isn't a complete waste, however; the instruments have an ultra-heavy sound and the arrangements bear the signature of an experienced band. If it weren't for the frequent and meaningless guitar mantras, the misshapen vocals, and the aimless riffs, this EP wouldn't be half-bad. Only obsessive stoner metal/doom metal fans who've purchased everything from Kyuss, Sleep, Karma to Burn, and Acid King should approach this Goatsnake EP.

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