Sourtongue's Mechanically Grown Society
Whisperin and Hollerin author: Adam Harrington September 2006 Although you can't say that rock & roll is dead (contrary to what Lenny Kravitz claimed), it did temporarily undergo CPR for a while. With the music scene dominated by hip-hop and emo, real rock was on a headfirst dive into irrelevance. And then, like a much-needed cavalry, the Darkness arrived, followed by Jet, each of them shamelessly peddling the booming FM sounds of the '70s. New York's Sourtongue (what a splendid name for band!) give further validity to the theory that rock & roll still has plenty of life in it. Nope, the gas tank isn't empty yet; far from it. Although nowhere near as flamboyant as the Darkness or as raw as Jet, Sourtongue kicks out the jams with the same fiery passion and sonic punch. On 'Katrina,' Sourtongue captures the mid-'70s highs of glam with enough garage-blasting volume and rapid-fire percussion to keep the neighbours awake for weeks. The band wastes no time in proving to you that they can shake the shack. On 'The Waltz' and 'Crimson Sun,' guitarist Nick Diaz piles enough Led Zeppelin riffs to build several houses of the holy. Led Zep is a key influence on the group but thankfully they're not trying to cop them. In terms of heaviness, yes, Sourtongue can approach Led Zep's Big Bang, especially on 'In the Valley of the Sweet Routine.' At other times, though, Sourtoungue resembles Soundgarden ('Still Awake') and Rush ('Mechanically Grown,' a dead ringer for the Canadian power trio.) There's honestly nothing new here; however, that's the largest selling point of the record. It's blissful for nostalgia for those who long for rock & roll in it's purest form.