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Right, no prizes for guessing what this one-dimensional album is celebrating. Bongzilla's debut is an enjoyably crusty splatter of sludge doom metal, owing its sound entirely to genre pioneers Eyehategod and incorporating elements of stoner rock all the way back to Black Sabbath, concluding with an intriguing sludge cover of 'Under the Sun.'
Muleboy's vocals are squawked in the distorted style of Devin Townsend, always pushed back in the mix and frequently indecipherable, as the main element here is his guitars alongside that of Spanky. Got to love these Southern U.S. bands and their "hilarious" pseudonyms, it almost makes Scandinavian black metal acts seem convincing. The production is rooted in the low end, really bringing out the down-tuned mess of the guitars, prominent bass and slow drums, and the band's tendency to grind to a near-halt enhances the stoned atmosphere.
As a nice surprise, every song doesn't end up sounding like the same slow, lethargic drone as its companions, with 'Sacred Smoke' varying tempo effectively, 'American' featuring a more upbeat groove reminiscent of Sabbath, 'Prohibition' coming close to stoner rock and the overlong 'Harvest' being saved at a crucial moment by some great guitar slowlos. This isn't an album to change the world, but it's better than I expected from a band that thinks "Bongzilla" is a cool name.
2. Sacred Smoke
4. Budgun / T.H.C.
5. Prohibition (4th Amendment)
6. Grog Lady
9. Under the Sun (Black Sabbath cover)
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Sacred Smoke
6 Prohibition (4th Amendment)
7 Grog Lady
10 Under The Sun