Friday, January 13, 2012

LOINCLOTH - Iron Balls Of Steel CD review

LOINCLOTH - Iron Balls Of Steel CD

Southern Lord

Genre: Progressive Metal

Before I even get into this I must remark about the irony that while listening to LOINCLOTH's debut full length I was also starring at a CONFESSOR show flyer when they played a now defunct club called Snookers here in Raleigh, NC many years ago. For those of you who don't know it LOINCLOTH contains CONFESSOR's former rhythm section of bassist Cary Rowells and drummer Steve Shelton. I'll kick aside any revisionist history and just give you my personal perspective on this subject (which is probably closer to the truth anyway) and say that if there was one local Raleigh act who should have followed in the steps of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's path to historic greatness it was CONFESSOR.

Nowadays CONFESSOR gets labeled "technical doom" but back in the day we just called em thrash albeit very technical with eclectic time signatures. They're debut, 1991's Condemned, was rightly acclaimed by critics. If they didn't break-up / have internal band problems they would have been much bigger than history allowed them to be. But since it didn't work out that way then it turned out that a host of other acts the world over stole everything musically from CONFESSOR and called it their own. I had thought that after their reunion in 2011 that something new was in the works for this year. Maybe there is and maybe I'm wrong. Either way here we have one offshoot band from CONFESSOR (anyone remember DRENCH as well?).

LOINCLOTH who along with the previous mentioned CONFESSOR members also contains guitarists Tannon Penland and Pen Rollings who was also in a band I saw a few times back in the day (probably at the Fallout Shelter) called BREADWINNER. Although according to the press release he's not in LOINCLOTH anymore. Well that's gonna put a damper on the live sets. LOINCLOTH originally popped onto the local scene back in the early 2000s also releasing an EP in 2003 but until now have been silent. There are two more things which I also need to get out of the way. The first being I'm not keen on a band named after Tarzan's draws and secondly math rock bores me. Otherwise if you are a musician who's into technical metal or a fan with ADD then this is for you.

LOINCLOTH are instrumental metal, aka: no vocals, which means you can blast this while playing on your Xbox or at your clerk job at the record store. Unlike many other instro / math rock acts I've heard in the past (actually too fuckin many) LOINCLOTH don't waste time meandering along. Most of the cuts on here are less than three minutes in length. In fact the whole album flies right by under forty minutes in length. Although some will concentrate on the riffs being pounded out I couldn't help but respect the jazz drumming skill of Steve Shelton who is LOINCLOTH's secret weapon on Iron Balls Of Steel. The precision of this man's abilities are the driving force behind most of the cuts on here. Math rock is a complex beast which is why I say LOINCLOTH is truly a technical musician's type of band. Judging this band's fifteen cuts any other way would be a disservice to the band and bias on my part. If you're into it then this release is probably one of the better ones you'll hear in 2012.





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