It swings like The Suicide File, it's cathartic like Creative Adult, it burns like Black Sabbath and it's angry like All Teeth. What is it you may ask? This my friends, is Western Blood. Four songs presented to you by San Diego's own Cursed Graves. Recently returning from a two-day, six-show release tour -- yes that equals to three shows a day -- this three piece has more than proven they deserve your attention.
A raucous collection, clocking in at just under ten minutes, Western Blood is just what it should be. Loud, abrasive, confronting and just all together rocking. Simplicity works best here. This is not a record to be studied on those late nights alone, token joint in hand. This is one to be blasted full frontal in a room full of 50 friends, while you're throwing back a couple more steady ones and reminiscing about that time you're belligerent crazy friend Joe almost fought your uncle.
Released on June 6, 2014 through the ever-eminent North Bay-based label Broke Hatré, it is available on both digital and cassette formats. So, lets run through this little bastard real quick. "Conversation in Three" begins with an upswell of raw punk energy, rising in unison as the group punches you in the face then quickly retreats into a floor tom attack in rudimentary punk fashion. Guitars follow up the attack with crisp, sharp riffs played with sloppy, yet calculated, scratches. This continues into the chorus, which is contoured by that '60s psychedelic feel made popular by another SD-based group, Wavves, yet with a much more aggressive feel. A single guitar tickled by the dance of a hi hat runs us back into the verse, yet this time it's tighter, heavier and even angrier than before as the vocals go from a high-pitched yell to a growling grunt. "So don't count on me, for anything." Well noted.
The next track begins with a blues riff so soulful you'd think you were sitting in a bar in Oklahoma, one of the few places this writer can think of that still allows smoking in bars, doing just that. Smoking in a god damn bar. This is heavy stuff. "Flow Into Me" creates large open spaces of blues-ridden indignation with the tracks our generation is quickly rolling down. Another throwback to that golden era of blues rock. The drums here are vast, large and really produced well to help the atmosphere of the song. Chugging riffs are blasted through the listener's ear while a smooth lead gyrates overheard to end out the song.
"Western Blood" is a droning, fuzzed-out instrumental that plays off Black Sabbath's heavier earlier material. Well done boys. Quality material for any medicinal patient to partake in their daily dosage. "Airs, Waters, & Places" is pushed into existence as the previous movement comes to an end. A piece simply meant to party, it draws from the upbeat rock n' roll ruckus constantly brought by The Suicide File and includes a new venture for the group, clean singing. Not the strongest, but it works well in this scenario, supported by more Sabbath train-wrecking riffs and a lead that matches the melody with eerie psychedelic sonic reverbed layers. This song is a cross between All Teeth, The Suicide File and The Stooges executed perfectly.
Are you ready to spill some blood? Don't trip, it might be a long time getting back up. Buried face down in resentment and disapproval with what you can't control, debauchery is soon to follow.