God Luck & Good Speed
Jason . . . The Dragon
(Seasons Of Mist)
Hope they can keep this up on the newie, ‘Goliathan’. It’s out soon but I ain’t heard it. I won't use 'full album' youtube links with stoner/crust/doom stuff cos despite all the usual critical conversation about Weedeater being all about 'filth' and 'noise' and 'sludge' and 'bong scrapings' (music hack cliche #4080 - laboriously prove that yes indeed you have taken drugs) the tinny bleating of a computer, even through a headphone socket, is not the ideal way to hear this. You need big speakers. This is not careless, filthy music. It's as carefully produced and put together as the most painstakingly assembled electronica - though much Weedeater swings like it's recorded live, it's actually the way every single empty socket and crevice in your headspace is filled and packed tight with molten heaviosity that really makes these records creme de la spesh. I am already intently studying ways I can beg, borrow, steal or maybe even buy the newie cos these two reissues are so damn good.
|Weedeater, eating their greens. Good boys.|
So much stoner/crust/doom out there why should you be listening to Weedeater? I suppose it’s about authority, whether you feel a band are sufficiently imprinting the template with their own sense of space and place. That will ultimately decide the select few important criteria for judging this music on - is it heavy? And the next most important - is it memorable? In other words, is it something more than stoner-by-rote, something that in some way rises above the endless tidal wave of this stuff seeping out in a brown-note-seeking miasma on a constant basis from all kinds of fugged-out fugged-up corners of Planet Dearth. And on all counts, yes, Weedeater’s second and third albums, originally out in 2007 and 2011 respectively and reissued in the past few months by Season Of Mist, compel your attention like fat melting pocketwatches dangled in front of your eyes. You aren't feeling sleepy. You're feeling deliciously comatose.
Are they heavy? Fuck yeah, more importantly, they’re funky too, riven with a southern-boogie pulse that puts you in mind of Masters Of Reality and Raging Slab and even Helmet, but with a renegade rage and wit that also recalls older more oddball avatars like Fugs & Groundhogs. Even at their slowest a Weedeater song doesn’t come across like the kind of artful deliberate experimental slowness of an Earth or Sunn O))). It still sounds kinda sexy, heatstruck, natural, wild, like fucking in a mudbath, like building a buzz that can last a whole weekend with only minimum sips, drags, snorts to keep it going. It develops its own energy, pushes on irresistably. There’s something utterly badass about the stomp behind Weedeater’s music, possessed by spirits from the wood and swamp, something polyglot in its bastard birth that stops it being so white, makes it music anyone with a brain and a booty could respond to. It helps that the melodies behind the riffs are so damn strong throughout both of these albums. You ain’t heard such tuneful doom in a long time - really revealed on lovely little detours like ‘Alone’ and ‘Palms & Opium’, somewhere tween Faust and the Palace Brothers - at times like Fu Manchu at their grooviest but just always attaining a deliciously frictive rubbery-ness thanks to the oceans of fuzz and the bassy clarity of the rhythm section - nothing is blurred, smeared or obscured here. Albini brings clarity, not excess, because he wants to bring out what a magnificently lubricated machine this band can be at both full pelt and death crawl. When words can be heard they’re bracingly angry, stunted, irresolvable, pissed off, bliss-free: “Untied, we stand/ Long live dirtweed/ Mankind is unkind, man”.
Taken together, these two albums should be thought of as strongly as the recent work of Primitive Man, Watchtower, Mammoth Wizard Weed Bastard and Monolord’s mighty ‘Vaenir’. (Here comes cliche #4080 I mentioned) Weed, honestly, won’t necessarily help, at least not on its own. Booze will, a few little speedbombs as well, crucially volume will not only make this music work better but will reveal more the more you pump it up, and once you’re in to Weedeater’s addictive spiral you will pump the volume steadily up until you’re as close as dammit to purely being the space that exists between the noise. A fine, crushed, fucked up place to be. Get in on it.