I have yet to listen to the new U2 album that is sitting in my purchased file. I try real hard not to be a snob, but I haven't been particularly interested in U2 for almost 30 years now. Or, y'know, since I was a couple years older than my oldest son.

That's all the perspective I need for today.

stay amused,

Because Jon and Matt say so

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Silken earworm

The most interesting thing about grunge is that it should have been prog-heavy. The sludgy attack lent itself to nerdy noodling breaks. But that didn't happen much. I think Nirvana might have ended up somewhere in that territory, but that's highly speculative. Anyone claiming to know the mind of the Cobain is a fool.

Black Moth is a new wave stoner rock band out of England. I loved the band's previous effort, The Killing Jar, and I was stoked to see that a new album was already on the wing.

Black Moth
Condemned to Hope
(New Heavy Sounds)

"Already" for those of us in the States who had to wait more than a year for Jar. The relatively short wait on these shores this time around makes these presents all that much more welcome.

I mentioned grunge up top. Black Moth has waded into that sound full-bore, which makes sense. The Killing Jar had a punk edge that is largely missing from most modern stoner rock (the songs just weren't all that turgid), and a lot of early grunge had similar punk elements.

I'm happy to say that this album is anything but constipated. The songs move along with alacrity, but with even more emphasis on heaviness. Sounds grungy to me--more Skin Yard than Nirvana, although Hammerbox might be more appropriate. In fact, "Looner" sounds like something Hammerbox should have recorded.

There's a bit more of a metallic sound here, and the overall production reminds me of mid-career Cathedral. That's quite welcome to my ears.

I'm not sure how many people are listening to stoner rock these days, but a lot of people ought to be listening to Black Moth. There are few bands out there who do heavy this well. With riffage that's damned hummable, even.

Maybe I'm just flashing back to my increasingly-departed youth, but I have completely fallen for Black Moth. And in case you haven't, there's a song on this album called "The Undead King of Rock 'N' Roll." It's one of the more sludgy efforts here, but that's okay. There's also a wiggy solo that betrays a certain interest in the noodly ways of the 70s.

I don't think Black Moth is out to reinvent the bong or anything, but these folks sure do know their way around a riff. This album is a real step forward, which is saying something. Something massive this way comes.