I have been looking forward to this release since rumbling first started last year of its possible creation.
Opening track ‘Today and Tomorrow’ begins with Phil mumbling over layers of guitar feedback, and sounds almost like a back-handed apology from him for his well-publicised drunken and disgraceful antics earlier this year at Dime-fest, but he may have had the music and lyrics written a long time before the events in January.
Next track ‘Burning the Blanket’ kicks in and goes straight for my musical happy place. The band have not sounded this tight, and Phil Anselmo has not sounded this angry, since the first Superjoint Ritual album ‘Use Once and Destroy’, and to be honest, this is my favourite version of Anselmo, the swivel eyed, screaming, looney one. Yes, I am a fan of all of his musical output, but this album and Great Southern Trendkill, are him at his vitriolic best. Countless bands, a solo album, and more than 20 years and Phil Anselmo has found a fierce fire vocally again.
He’s ably backed up by Jimmy Bower (Eyehategod) and Kevin Bond on guitar (both are returning original members), along with a great new rhythm section in bassist Stephen Taylor and drummer Joey Gonzalez, both from Anselmo’s solo band. Superjoint sound so tight throughout the 40 minutes of hardcore/metal brutality on show here, that after the second track they are all so good, I find it hard to find a highlight, simply because everything sounds so good to my dusty old ears. The only exception really being the overly long closer ‘Receiving No Answer to the Knock’. Clocking in at 5.20mins, it is at least 3 minutes too long. Lyrically the band takes aim at the usual hardcore suspects, media in all its forms, and the ills of mainstream society.
The only real weak point is the very dry production. I like to hear all the instruments playing their part, but everything is pushed to maximum loudness, so losing some of its effect, except in small places like ‘Clickbait’ where the bass is loud and clear at about the half way mark, and Kevin Bond’s solo at the end of ‘Mutts Bite Too’.
This is music written to be angry to, and to feel better for listening to.
1. Today and Tomorrow
2. Burning the Blanket
3. Ruin You
4. Caught Up in the Gears of Application
5. Sociopathic Herd Delusion
6. Circling the Drain
9. Mutts Bite Too
10. Rigging the Fight
11. Receiving No Answer to the Knock