Friday, February 21, 2014

Hazzard's Cure - The Ugly

Written by Justin C.

Artwork by Lukas Krieg

Hazzard's Cure self-describes their music as "epic blackened stoner thrash." I'm usually dubious of these kinds of label mash-ups, but if Ulla's recent review of buioingola has taught me anything, it's that sometimes these multiple-genre descriptions can make a surprising amount of sense.

The breadth of Hazaard's Cure's influence is a bit easier to discern on their self-titled full length, but their EP The Ugly nicely shows off the mix, too. The first two tracks on the EP are firmly rooted in stoner metal. The vocals are delivered in a raspy holler reminiscent of High on Fire and Baroness. The bass playing is a highlight, prominent in the mix and straddling the line between melody and rhythm. The drums easily shift between quiet shuffle and blasting, and the guitar pulls a similar trick, from tremolo riffs, to quiet atmosphere, to even a little Santana-style soloing in near the end of the title track. It's a classic rock foundation that doesn't sound dated, but one that's been angered up to a much heavier level.

Photo by Taylor Keahey.

If there's any question about the "blackened" part of the description, it's nicely resolved by the third track, "The Body Amorphous," which features lead vocals from Laurie Sue Shanaman of the late, great Ludicra. With her unmistakable ferocity over blackened, winding guitar lines, you suddenly get an idea of what would have happened if Jefferson Airplane, instead of morphing into the poppy Jefferson Starship, had instead invented black metal and became Jefferson Plague. That probably sounds like I'm making fun, but nothing could be further from the truth. Jefferson Plague is something I didn't know I needed in my life until I heard this track. I would have loved more of this, but as it is, this EP is a great introduction to the band for anyone who likes their stoner metal with a hefty dose of rage.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Tagged with 2013, doom metal, Hazzard's Cure, Justin C, stoner metal, Taylor Keahey
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