By: Matt Butler
Geezer | facebook | bandcamp |
Released on November 18, 2016 via Ripple Music
Call me a prude, but there is no excuse for the following lyric: “I’m just a caveman looking for meat and that’s the wrong girl coming my way.” None whatsoever. You can claim banter, irony, a desire for that authentic ‘1970s’ attitude to go with your sound, or even the transference of anger at your failure to get a real-life girlfriend… whatever. It’s the 21st century, for Chrissakes.
It’s a shame that Geezer thought it a good idea to include the above lyric in ‘One Leg Up’, the second song of their self-titled album. Because musically the song is pretty good – a Stooges-esque snarl – as is the rest of the album. There are crunchy, overdriven, bluesy boogie numbers and widescreen spacey jams that recall some of All Them Witches’ work, not to mention follow on nicely from their EP from 2014, Gage. And despite the obvious nod to the 70s, it sounds fresh as if you were listening live in a desert dirt bar.
But the thing is, the album from this trio from New York state – not to be confused with the bassist from Black Sabbath’s outfit – begins in such derivative fashion. The opener, ‘Sunday Speed Demon’, is all right, with a decent catchy riff, but it’s nothing special. Then follows the neanderthal one. With those two out of the way, the album really kicks into gear, with ‘Sun Gods’, which couldn’t be more different to the opening songs. A gentle riff eases you in before things darken and you sink in to fuzz guitar utopia.
The laconic pace continues on the excellent eight-minute centrepiece ‘Bi-Polar Vortex’, where Pat Harrington, the gruff guitarist/vocalist gets the chance to wrap his tonsils around some brilliant lyrics, which I took to be about the psychiatric condition mentioned in the title. It’s made all the more powerful by the loud-quiet arrangement and out-there guitar work which befits the expansive starscape on the cover. ‘Dust’ is another highlight and also pushes the eight-minute mark, with vintage-sounding electronic noises adding to the feast.
After ‘Hangnail Crisis’, which is pure space-blues, comes ‘Superjam Maximus’ which, surprise surprise, is a massive good-time jam, with a repeated line insisting we should “get high”. It begins sounding like Audioslave’s best moments (I’m sure there were some, weren’t there?) then revs up into an old-school hard rock cacophony. ‘Stoney Pony’ ends the party with some more casual objectification, beginning with “my girl, she’s built like a pony, long legs and curves that ain’t phony” and gets progressively worse. Yes, they even dare to utter “ride that pony”. The toe-curling lyrics aside, it sounds satisfyingly like a Fu Manchu intro stretched into a full song.
So is it worth dropping your hard earned cash on? Yes. But only if you don’t listen to the lyrics. Or they release a special prude’s edition with instrumental versions of the second and final tracks.