Tuesday, December 20, 2011

HAZZARD'S CURE - Self Titled CD review

Lummox Records / Stop Go Destroy Tapes
Genre: Hardcore / Sludge
Rating: 4/5

This San Francisco four piece sounds like a hardcore band who found a box of Mans Ruin records and decided to incorporate those influences into their sound in order to get better paying gigs at bars that don't allow naked bums inside. Good for them because this self titled release of theirs doesn't have a sell by date on it like most stoner sludge which has come out over the past two years. HAZZARD'S CURE actually has a much needed fresh sound (well at least fresher than most) that even touches on the technical edge which is more classic metal than prog. I'm sure someone else will reference a notable Atlanta, Georgia act as an influence but I'm sick of all those acts as well as critics who quickly name drop them for lack of coming up with an original thought. This is just another decent band which proves that no one has a corner on the sludge market. You don't need to live a thirty miles from a swamp to be sludgey.

There are a lot of aspects to this release which I like. The most obvious is that their hardcore influence tears at you like a hundred unclasped safety pins ripping your flesh. When they break into a speedy run you can just imagine the spikey headed nutbags flying around in front of them when they're playing a show. Then comes their slower moments, so the smokers can catch their breath, which hearkens back to the late 90's era of sludge and aggressive non hippie stoner grooves. Once in a while there's some clean guitar solos that stand out more than a bearded tranny trying out for a high school cheerleader squad. Plus there's plenty of twin guitar interplay that hits you square in the forehead like a ballpean hammer. Then again it might be more like being shot with a nailgun but in the knee caps not the face. There's that pounding metal to bone sound which soft flesh would hamper.

All together the basis for HAZZARD'S CURE's style are these filthy sounding riffs (great guitar tones) paired up with neck snapping lead work with mixed song structures and decent speed variations. Toss in a host of alternating vocal styles from aggro punk screams to venomous screeching and even some clean vocal runs. There's seven cuts on here that don't break out on all levels but keep within a vibe that's interesting throughout. I mean this band is pulling a lot of cool sounding stuff from their bag which also goes well with the mixed level production. A band like this was meant to sound dirty. Maybe that's why they ended their opener with the sound of some poor bastard vomiting. Either way I'd keep an eye on these guys because I doubt they'll still be self releasing their stuff anymore in the near future.

Official: http://www.hazzardscure.blogspot.com/

Bandcamp: http://hazzardscure.bandcamp.com/album/hazzards-cure

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