HardReviews 4
by Martin Popoff

Artimus Pyledriver - Artimus Pyledriver

There's a lot of grumbling right now about the kids taking metal back and basically short-circuiting the whole scene, just ignoring it. I saw Wolfmother last month, and the place was just set off. A packed, stacked house of well-dressed girls and boys was going insane to dyed in the wool stoner rock, and you will never see 95% of those youngsters at a metal show. It was a revelation. The Sword and even to some extent The Illuminati are getting the same goods, and so are these Atlanta beard-pullers. And man, does this album roar. Think of Speedealer or Nashville Pussy or COC crossed with Entombed or Cathedral (work with me), and you're on your way to deaf. And if the wall of bass, guitar and drums juiced to the nines doesn't kill you, the haranguing Brian Johnson/Neil Fallon roar of Dave Slocum will finish off the fry job. In fact, he gets a little much as the album wears on, so what do his buddies do? They turn it up and try drown him out. The moonshine flows, the cymbals swing and reflect and refract, and bass careens around the room while Slocum's mouth gets a mile wide. It's all pretty funny and fun, but it's also totally about the best bulldozing qualities of metal, this ability to sound like electricity getting a beating.
Rating 8.5

Crucified Barbara - In Distortion We Trust
(Liquor And Poker)

I like the idea of this band more than its execution, Crucified Barbara being four gals logically next in line after Girlschool, Phantom Blue, Nashville Pussy, Kittie and Lullacry, sounding safely like a mash-up between all of those. Their association with American Dog bode well for them, and this isn't exactly bad, it's just ordinary, with too many droning, sloggy down-tuned Zakk riffs supported only halfways by songs a nu-punk band might do. Vocally, Mia Coldheart does a strong traditional female... "sing," shouting a bit but never, thankfully, death metal to the pedaling it. It only takes a song or two in to realize that the gals aren't writing in their native tongue, which causes a bit of distraction, given the clarity with which Mia croons her "We're here to rock" exhortations. Love the closing cover of Motorhead's Killed By Death, because that's one of the most charming songs of that band's catalogue, and the gals' huge riffy production does the song justice. Still, I don't think the riffs are here, sorta like Dirty Deeds, Buckcherry, Union, or that last Lullacry versus the previous one.
Rating 6.5

Hard Reviews Page 5