Release DetailsLABEL At A Loss Recordings
RELEASED ON 4/23/2007
Scream Of The Iron Iconoclast
posted on 8/2007 By:
Like many albums released by the At a Loss camp, Scream Of The Iron Iconoclast is an explorative, largely instrumental album seemingly tailor-made for those that indulge in the occasional bong rip. Stinking Lizaveta aren't exactly the typical fair though; they are one of the few not mining the NeurIsis boom for inspiration. Instead, this trio is more likely to bring to mind Zappa, Blue Cheer, and Dungen along with more than a hint of a hard-to-place jazz influence. I'm completely new to Stinking Lizaveta, though the band has been at it since 1994. Initially I thought this was their debut, but I kept thinking to myself, "Damn, this doesn't sound like this could possibly be their first album" because of the band's mastery of album flow and dynamics. Sure enough, this is album number five, so it looks like I've got some new additions to my wishlist.
The trio is made up of brothers Yanni and Alexi Papadopoulos on guitar and electric upright bass, respectively, and Cheshire Agusta handles the drums. Yanni's guitar work ranges from heavy doom-like riffs to effortlessly floating melodies, but he always keeps melody and groove at the forefront. I called the album 'largely instrumental' because Yanni does contribute ‘vocals’ by yelling into his guitar to create noisy effects. Alexi is a versatile bassist that uses everything from his fingers to a bow to effects pedals to really make the most of his instrument and give the album variety. Cheshire Agusta is a damn fine drummer as well, utilizing solid rhythms with occasional moments of flare including some inventive fills and exchanges.
The majority of the songs maintain manageable song lengths usually between three and six minutes, so despite the loosey-goosey grooves and psyched-out meanderings, the band keeps things concise and memorable for the most part. There is a decent amount of variation from song to song with some excellent fuzzed-out soloing and enough direct, lead-style riffing to give the songs identity. Steve Albini handled the recording, so you can expect lots of warm,. fuzzy, organic tones with a very healthy low end.
It really is a damn good sound Stinking Lizaveta has going here and you can definitely tell they've spent their 13 years of existence honing their craft to make it what it is today. Scream Of The Iron Iconoclast is an album you can listen to intently and be entertained throughout, but it would also be great as the backing soundtrack to your next psychedelic adventure. The style is interesting, the musicianship is excellent, the songs are memorable, and it has a production that fits perfectly for the band's sound. The only thing I can think of that would put this album over the top would be if the love child of Mike Patton and Mike Scheidt sang for them.
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