Thursday, November 7, 2013

... don't spit out such a blast of green vapours : LADYBIRD 'Tombstoned' (Album Review)

Coming out from South Carolina and Arizona, LADYBIRD is an outstanding trio who released a killer debut demo last year (reviewed here), but for some reason didn't get much attention over here in Europe... I don't think this is here a question of style, whereas Dopethrone and Weedeater are highly popular... but why not Order of the Owl or Ladybird then ? ok, both those bands have a shorter existence, are somewhat even more extreme in their subgenre and seemingly not among the most present to promote their name on the net - but  it has always been like this and sadly will remain until the end of times : there's some bands who deserve as much as others (sometimes even much more) but are totally underrated !!! Hopefully things can sometimes change quickly...

Nobody can be aware in real time of everything good that comes out, but - holy shit, how can I have missed the fact that Ladybird released two albums 3 months ago, until I got a mail from them last week ?!  
'Tombstoned' and 'Spliff & Wesson' are those both albums the band suddenly came with by a crushing morning of August, both last 45 minutes and are worthy sonic experiences which need a bit of mental training or a great dose of illegal substances infusion to be wholly enjoyed - especially the latter !!! 

Considering that 'Spliff..' is more of a very special  recorded stoney-jam with its 2 songs of 24 minutes versing into an incredibly personnal blend of psyched-out Blues and Noise/Country/Sludge that demands at several times either to be a fan from experimental to incongruous stuff, either to be stoned to death or a good loyal friend of this apparently dangerous and disturbing act, 'Tombstoned' does logically concentrate more attention with a (bit) more usual format and execution, albeit everything is relative with the 22 minutes long 'Marble Orchard' and the accoustic intro of 5 minutes...

Those guys deliver tons of fuzz and reverb, play immensely loud and have some of the most sadistically evil vocals ever vomited to the face of the earth... this sounds good but not singular these days you might think ?! so, what makes them special ? the southern touch maybe ? sure you can't miss it, starting by this long intro which by the way doesn't make you expecting the imminent aural punishment to come - the guys tag themselves as "hillbilly" and indeed it scents good the authentic and rough heart of the USA, the one with scary faces whose only aim is to see you trapped, hahaha !

Logically and should I say aptly (yes!), the sluggishness and penetrative heaviness are layered in a deep weedy atmosphere which adds a bleak and degenerated flow to the overall, damn this is brilliantly venomous !!!  'Papers' is probably the most crushing song I heard this year and 'no reason' is not far in the top too... of course this needs to be played at loud volumes with headphones if possible and you sometimes have the impression that there's two or three bassists in here, if you dig Brent Anderson (Zoroaster, OotO) - including for his genious vocal abilities, everything that Ladybird release will be for you a mandatory purchase from now on !!! 

Guitarist is not in rest to add a special touch with crafting hallucinated experimentations of cosmic  sounds - riding the vibe with indolence or wandering in hazy resonance. May the tempo be ultra slow and monolithic or more psyched-out, the amps are always vapouring ultra green and tasty :) Last song 'Marble Orchard' is giving place to long droning moments which are so hammering and asphyxiating that you can definitely not ensure your life partner anymore to be in a state of normal consciousness; the amps are still densely vapouring but seem to multiply and substitute all the walls surrounding you and it's not the last 5 minutes which drive you to mushroom territories which will arrange your affair ! 

Now, let's come back a bit on this other release ''Spliff & Wesson'...A bit like another killer underrated Sludge band named When The Deadbolt Breaks did with the 2nd part of their new double album, Ladybird offers here something very different, a lot more experimentative and extended... even if there's still a few outburst of fuzz and punishing drums here and there, the asphyxiation feeling disappeared in favor of cosmicity probably enhanced by absorption of different substances ! Assuredly their bluesiest composition, first song is experimenting towards wandering psychedelia, whereas 'Nossew & Ffilps' is a droning succession of psyched-out noise... 

It doesn't mean that it's empty of sense and interest, but this 2nd album I could hardly listen several times in a row - while the masterful 'Tombstoned' almost impose it systematically  !  Being as immense as it was unexpected, 'Tombstoned'  is in my opinion the absolute winner of this year in the slow and grimy Sludge department... and if anyone has heard a 2013 release as slow, sick and intoxicating, and this good, I enjoin him/her to present it here with a review to share the goodie !!!

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