Finally art is kicking in and making a political statement about how the Bush administration has devastated our country. In this eight song e.p., New Mexico’s Spiritu and Pennsylvania’s Village of Dead Roads create dark, pounding heavy metal rhythms supporting lyrics on industrial decimation in the West and Midwest.
That this genre is making a comeback is not surprising. Heavy metal always was about gloom and loss and on this album both bands show a penchant for anarchic melodies and extra-crunchy guitar work. For the uninitiated, Spiritu sounds like a combination of early Black Sabbath and Megadeth, a merger of styles that prophesize hidden evil on one hand, corruption and greed on the other. Village of Dead Roads has a much harder edge, kind of a bitches’ brew made from a recipe of Metallica, a pinch of Veruca Salt, a half cup of The Melvins, stir, and add a dash of Godflesh. The four songs presented by each band represent the metal form at its peak. Both bands have debts of gratitude to Queens of the Stone Age and KYUSS.
Spiritu vocalist Jadd has the pre-requisite low, grumbling voice which he can make soar at any given moment, much like Robert Plant. Chav’s guitar chops are thunderous, with multi-tracked layering and blisteringly fast riffs. Village of Dead Roads lead singer Doug Corey keeps the vocals more subdued and clean while Corey riffs on the stiff rhythms produced Eric Apt (guitar), Lil’ Abner (bass), and Chris Williams (drums).
Now, here’s the kicker—generally, I don’t even like this kind of music. I produced a ton of it years back and at the time, I thought the sound levels were giving me a brain tumor. But frankly, these boys are angry… fucking angry at having watched everything around them lay to waist and replaced by Wal-Mart superstores and Lowe’s mega-hardware chains. And I like that kind of anger because there is just too much complacency in the world. Bands like Spiritu and Village of Dead Roads might just be able to wake some of their stoner fans out of their slumber. Let’s hope so at least.
Whether you like this style of music or not, this split album has much to recommend it. Spiritu and Village of Dead Roads will knock you senseless when you first hear it, and upon further listens, will knock some sense into you. It is a going to be a heralded a classic among the MeteorCity music label split album releases. It’s also an extremely strong dose of vitality that will force you to ‘prick up your ears’.