Porn (The Men of Porn)

Wine, Women and Song

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Some might perceive Porn's (also known as Men of Porn) choice of cover art for 2004's Wine, Women and Song as distasteful or downright grotesque. But then, this deeply disturbing, but certainly stylishly rendered image of a nude child, or child-like thing (designed by famed artist and former Man's Ruin Records chief Frank Kozik) perfectly exemplifies the dark, foreboding, yet captivating aesthetic behind this side-project supergroup. And you know what? You should have seen their first LP cover! Anyway, Wine, Women and Song reconvenes the trio of Melvins' drummer Dale Crover, bassist/producer Billy Anderson and guitarist/vocalist Tim Moss after a three-year silence, and, as well as showing themselves ever willing to challenge conventions and taboos (though not necessarily indulge in them), Porn also seem, well, hungry. What else is one to think when the album's absolutely immense, 12-minute opening instrumental/stoner/space/metal jam "Succulento" segues straight into the cleverly named "Mastodon Entrée"? That's right, this is one band that's not afraid to throw its weigh around. Next up, the dread-filled doom of "Glory Will Be Mine" and the nightmarish whirlwind of "Morning Star Rising" both do without the food allusions, but, like their predecessors, combine turgid riffs, waves of psych-guitar feedback, low-end bass rumbles, primal drumming, and growling Lothario vocals in ways that often recall the early work of New Jersey's Monster Magnet -- only even more demented! All of the above and more -- mostly mellow sections marked by swaying guitar pickings, softly droning organs and just plain unaccompanied drums -- characterize the next epic, "The Five Books of Aeneas," and, for a final salvo, the aptly named "Last Song" grinds the listener to dust with another ten-ton grind of hypnotic proportions. Ultimately, Wine, Women and Song still lacks the sort of groundbreaking originality or sense of contiguity to qualify as a truly original and complete album; but for an intriguing and unquestionably warped exercise in post- \stoner rock experimentation, it does far more than whet the appetite.

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