Release DetailsLABEL Leaf Hound Records
RELEASED ON 10/9/2006
The Early Years
posted on 7/2007 By:
I hate to be that guy, the guy that spouts some seriously unbelievable bullshit like, “This band should be ruling your world right now!” and makes you feel guilty for not wasting your days pursuing trivial pleasures like subterranean band hunting (St.Peter: “Says here your biggest life achievement was leaking a Boris album. Uh, we’ll call you.”). But, if you’re a fan of stoner doom and you haven’t spun some Acid King yet, I’m required by metal law to let you know that this band should be ruling your world right now. If the phrase “‘70s-drenched stoner riffing machines” means something/anything to you, this band should be ruling your world right now. Finally, if you can imagine your typical metal band from the early ‘90s stoner explosion crashing into the spacey territory of Sons of Otis, and you’re now giddy with excitement, well, this band should be rul-oh, you know. The point is, Busse Woods and III are out there waiting to be picked up and ready to paint a smile across your face. If you’re new and you’re a-hearin’ what I’m a-sayin’, give them a look ASAP.
To the previously converted, I’ve still got something special for you. This reissue compilation, courtesy of Japan’s Leaf Hound, brings together the band’s first full length, Zoroaster, and, appearing for the first time on non-bootleg plastic, the band’s long out of print (over a decade they say) debut 10”, the record upon which Acid King built their name. And if that’s still not enough, I’ll throw in this jockstrap bejeweler and the tomato tornado for free. Kidding (like I'd give up the bejeweler), but if you are still in need some convincing, read on.
The neatest thing about Acid King is how the band stated part of their manifesto from the very get go in a clever way. After a suitably Sabbathian riff that sounds like it has been filtered through Hawkwind’s road-tested rockers (“Motorhead,” etc.), guitarist/vocalist Lori S., with her unique raw shout-singing, fits this line into the verse of “Lead Paint”: “Slow/ That’s the only way I know.” Sure, the song is about traveling, but can you think of a better one-liner that encompasses what most tune-it-low-and-play-it-slow bands are about? What’s great about Acid King though is that they prove to be more. After the four Acid King tracks—what we’d now consider fairly standard stoner doom (think maybe Sleep meets a more lethargic Orange Goblin)—Zoroaster amps up the space element with those familiar cymbal smears that come with an altogether “hazy” drum production (exactly what a motion blur must sound like). The jam element was there on the 10”, sure, but now it has evolved into something far more psychedelic with meandering solos and grooves so good you wish they could last an eternity (“Evil Satan” and “Queen Of Sickness” in particular).
But, don’t think that these tracks are bogged down by the typical irritants that never fail to piss off those who can’t stand about stoner music in general, such as bloated running times and overly long sonic/improvisational experiments. For all of their hypnotic, spacey (I can’t stress this word enough) qualities, they seriously rock. “Tank” will blow your hair back with a deadly n' deep guitar tone and a pretty driving pace (Well, for them). It’s less about prayers to amplifier feedback and the sweet leaf, and more about life on the open highway. And, that’s partly why I find Acid King to be so interesting. They display this subtle duality: they want to rock your socks and give your trip wings at the same time. To sum it up: “Vertigate #2”’s opening makes it clear that you’re not crazy for thinking that the revving of a motorcycle engine kind of sounds like a bong rip and, on The Early Years, that same kind of muscle meets that same kind of meditation. They’d get better (these two are endearingly sloppy and the songwriting wasn’t quite there yet), but thanks to Leaf Hound, those late to the game can finally hear the beginnings of an overlooked outfit.
Register to post comments.