Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shake, Battle, and Bowl...

Ladybird - Tombstoned (2013)


I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting to hear on this album, as the only other thing I've heard from Ladybird (so far) is their gargantuan Spliff & Wesson, but there's certainly a change of pace on Tombstoned.  For one thing, they've doubled the number of songs (bringing it up to four), with Intro, Papers, No Reason, and Marble Orchard; Marble Orchard steals the show with its big finish (clocking 22 minutes), but the journey up to it holds plenty of surprises.  That's a relief, considering how little variance there usually is when a band releases two albums in the same month, as the industrious lads in Ladybird did with Tombstoned and Spliff & Wesson back in August.
Intro is a sedate steel-guitar rambler, picking along with occasional dusty back-roads noises making their presence known, and bringing some of the desert isolation from their home in Arizona to life, before Papers steps quickly into a doomy sludge assault, making strings and feedback hum as if both are about to snap; No Reason slides smoothly in on a snail-trail of fuzzy rumbling before breaking out the bleary-eyed psychedelic wavering of the guitar; and Marble Orchard begins with a sinister old-timey movie sample, then moves back into the malignant desert feel of the previous songs, blown up to a size where all you can really do is surrender and let it wash through your ears. Altogether, it's a very respectable and palatable compromise between the Stonehenge-sized sludge of Spliff & Wesson, and something that shakes listeners by the throat a little less insistently. Go on, try it! The first one's free!
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;  Sleep, Electric Wizard, Windhand, Acid King, Meth Drinker




~