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Weedeater - God Luck and Good Speed Review

by Mark Hensch

I have often heard people speak of deceased sludge gods Buzzov*en in tones both reverent and fearful; few bands were as unhinged publicly and privately, the act's legendary drug-use and insane levels of misanthropy well beyond what other lesser bands could conjure. So when that act broke up around the start of the new millennium, many felt that their brand of intensely personal vitriol turned to stagnant acid could never again be replicated.

All these assumptions are blown apart with the release of Weedeater's God Luck and Good Speed. For those of you keeping track at home, Weedeater is the return outfit for Buzzov*en bassist/vocalist Dave "Dixie" Collins, and what a return outfit it is! The nine hymns to dirt and muck on God Luck truly invoke religious experience so primitive and animalistic are the oozing, primordial riffs it conjures. The whole thing blazes by like a bad toke in around thirty-nine minutes, feeling like the Reign in Blood of the sludge genre. How is this possible? The answer lies in just how quickly this flows by---like arterial spray from a wound, and with the exact same amount of mess! God Luck and Good Speed is sludge that thrashes like a pissed-off biker's tire iron or an alligator mid-death roll. Every bit as rocking as it is plodding, the lightning grooves and earth-shaking thunderclaps of sound on offer here just might be the world's rawest rock anthems.

And once again, what anthems they are! Right away the album's massive title track unleashes a haymaker, as "God Luck and Good Speed" proceeds to crumble your skull into bits. All of it---the slime-drenched riffs, the monstrous percussion---is simply the beginning. Amidst the absurdly infectious, massive groove, Carter's distinctly howled/drawled vocals drip whiskey-rage right out of one's speakers so well you might end up with Jack Daniel's on the carpet. "Wizard Fight" goes right for the solar plexus with a gut-punch of bone-breaking shake the size of Texas. This beast is just perfect for the "roll-down-your windows-and-blare-sick-s***" crowd, so here's a strong anthem for that. "For Evan's Sake" is a sour, piss-and-vinegar dirge with plenty of balls and potshots. Carter's throat-tearing howls cut like a rusty machete; in the meantime cohorts Shep and Keko gutter-stomp with twisting, soul-inflected sludge. Both exposed and brutal, the song exists in a dual-universe of total hopelessness and violent, out-with-a-bang bravado.

All of this makes the quirky "Alone" such an unusual highlight for the disc. "Alone" is a Southern bluegrass ballad about loneliness and alienation, it's twanging chords providing an excellent vehicle for Carter's dank-breathed croons. Despite its minimalism, one feels the song deep inside the soul; so deep and brusque are Carter's moody whispers, a person can literally smell the intoxication on his breath. The bowel-releasing rumble of "$20 Peanut" soon erases these concerns, its holy worship of the guitar riff beckoning to echoes of Sleep while its dirty distortion flies the flag for Eyehategod. It is over faster than a barroom brawl, and is just as invigorating. In fact, so quick and seamless the transition from this to follow-up "Dirt Merchant" I swear the two songs are really one. "Dirt Merchant" features the album's most fist-pumping riff, an avalanche of muddy majesty so grand guitar fans everywhere will only be able to bow down and worship. The song's eventual collapse into a simplistic, furious display of swaggering sludge is perhaps the most rocking breakdown I've ever heard, and again, this is definitely a "must-hear" portion of the album.

"Gimme Back My Bullets" is a mud-tumbler of noise, its flurry of dirty low-blows being just the kind of low-end abuse sludge fans everywhere crave. "Weed Monkey" is a toked-out ballad to soil stains and alcoholism, its shuffling trudge both menacing and towering at the same time. Out of the blue, the song launches into a frantic riptide of bile, completely drowning listeners in its catchy yet grime-caked hooks. It works very well, and this is one of the most barnstorming cuts the disc has to offer. Bringing things to an unexpected close is the delicate ragtime banter of "Willow." "Willow" is one helluva swerve, its classy keys and moody themes closing the disc on an unlikely (though enjoyable) note.

God Luck and Good Speed is just the kind of Southern-fried discomfort I have long come to expect from bands like Sourvein, Buzzov*en, Eyehategod, etc. Weedeater definitely excel in mixing filth with fury and the end result is a staggering blast of dirt-drenched wizardry well beyond that of their peers. If any music fans out there are looking for a dirty, rotten, low-down piece of rip-roaring trash, Weedeater has got your hookup. It takes real balls to stand toe-to-toe with this sick puppy---God Luck and Good Speed y'all. This one comes highly recommended.

Weedeater's God Luck and Good Speed
1. God Luck and Good Speed
2. Wizard Fight
3. For Evan's Sake
4. Alone
5. $20 Peanut
6. Dirt Merchant
7. Gimme Back My Bullets
8. Weed Monkey
9. Willow

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Weedeater - God Luck and Good Speed


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