Hard Reviews 4
by Martin Popoff

Soulpreacher - Sonic Witchcraft
(Man's Ruin)

Hanging with Eyehatedgod on their way to Morgion, Soulpreacher are one of those ragged, haggard, shagged stoner rock bands offhandedly designed for those who have the patience for anything under this cannibis canopy. Remember Nightstick? Yeesh. That's what you get here, a fuzzy, slighty nauseating batch of harangue-arounds, lope-loafers and stooped stupids, ranging from cow-grazed Sabbath post-it notes to passing Hawkwinds until the next bubble of oldster rock chunderjams it from stage left, slowly through the mid, ambling off right twenty minutes later, tripping on a cord before bashing a tooth on a bass cabinet. Vocals? Yeah, there are some, Anthony Staton flippantly nose-picking a tired Relapse noisecore belch-box for the job, which goes with this kind of music like Ozzy sight-reading drum parts at a Frank Zappa audition.
Rating 4

Gaskin - Stand Or Fall
(Neat Metal)

This one falls happily and headbangedly into the category of Neat-wiz Jess jostling together a bunch of NWOBHM geezers and telling them to pick up where they left off (same as Jaguar, except Neat wanted Power Games Part II, not This Time Part Wha?!). And Gaskin, through their two red-headed step-records, were an odd throwback to '70s conventions within the genre, achieving a quaintness over time that would raise my earlier modest grades afforded said wobblers. Stand Or Fall is a roughshod artifactual document of the band's original chilly sound, and for that it's quite entertaining and useful in this accelerated world of phreaked metal hybrids. Many might call it crap (and there are many reasons a snotpunk would down-thumb it), yet I call it a bronzed turd, a record written for the likes of me's and some of you's, an odd hybrid of Bad Company, slightly poppy NWOBHM experiments and more carnal crunch, wrapped together, the band's heaviest of a catalogue impossibly gaped by an 18 year gap. I'm very glad this happened for Paul Gaskin, but I think the Jaguar is a worthier jab, not to say that a certain scent of old leather hasn't been achieved within many of this album's creaking philosophies.
Rating 7

Hard Reviews Page 5