Weedeater - Jason...The Dragon
Southern Lord
Stoner Sludge Metal
10 songs (34:14)
Release year: 2011
Weedeater, Southern Lord
Reviewed by Khelek

I have to start off by saying that I really like Weedeater, I've seen them live once so far and they put on a killer show, so needless to say that I have eagerly been awaiting the chance to review their latest work Jason...The Dragon. The band specializes in sludge metal, although without the same type of droning, monotonous compositions of some others in the genre. They are always striving to keep their music rhythmic and heavy, yet also very listenable and energetic. There are clear influences from early stoner acts such as Sleep and Kyuss, though Weedeater takes the sludge sound in a decidedly southern direction with their riffs. This album shows their sound remaining quite consistent, but there are some definite differences from their past couple albums. For one thing, the drum work by Keith "Keko" Kirkum is noticeably more complex, and is given a larger role is many songs. Dave "Dixie" Collins's brutal growls are no less intense though, and his bass guitar is still very much the lead instrument. It's not a perfect album, but certainly on par with their past work, and I think fans of sludge and doom metal will enjoy it.

The intro track starts off with a sample of what sounds like an old and grumpy witch. The fucking beast that is Hammerhandle soon blasts in however. The riffs are massive and hearken back to the band's epic album Sixteen Tons. Dixie’s growls and the distinctive crunch of his bass send shockwaves through your speakers. It takes all of the groove necessary for bluesy stoner metal and thickens it into the muck you now hear. Basically a perfect sludge/stoner anthem. Mancoon is a more energetic song with quicker bass and drums, and much shorter than many of their songs at just over 2 minutes. On this track you can really hear that the drums have a sort of natural, acoustic character, but are loud and bold enough to make a big impact on the sound, with the bass driving the energy of the song forward. I didn't quite understand Turkey Warlock at first, with an extreme amount of feedback and only sad, monotonous bass to start the song. The drums and vocals definitely come in just in time to save it, and turn it into a southern-influenced romp. The title track starts off similarly subdued, but a thick guitar riff comes in to drive the song forward into the sludgy abyss. The drums are very distinctive here once again, that big organic sound slamming right into you. Then when all three instruments come together, they create something catchy and listenable in the utmost sense. This continues for some time before the rasping growls of Dixie slice in, with that pissed of sounding guttural voice he commands the music and uses it as a battle song that just makes you want to move. Long Gone is another a stoner track through and through, sounding a bit influenced by the likes of Sleep with some slower, more repetitive riffs, but still keeping an aggressive edge. Homecoming starts off with a more melancholy sounding lead, clearly more influenced by traditional doom metal. The second half of the song falls a bit flat for me though, being very heavy on repetition most of the time instead of building on the atmosphere that opened the song. The final track, Whiskey Creek, starts off with some bluegrass vibes in the form of acoustic banjo and samples of running water. Dixie's bass soon comes in as accompaniment, and finishes the album out in this low-key, instrumental style.

I really enjoy listening to these guys and seeing them live confirmed that they have a lot of spirit and energy and really enjoy what they do. While this album doesn't bring much new to the table for the band, it is yet another solid addition to their catalog and a very listenable album. If you've never seen a band like this live, I highly recommend it. If you enjoy turning up the bass and blasting this out of your stereo, just imagine those basslines causing a large room to shake.

The entire album, and this band's music in general, has a sort of primal quality to it that I feel drawn to. Men throwing themselves wildly at their instruments, but still knowing exactly how to make them come together very well. Violence and beauty, two very difficult things to combine in music, are created here. My only real complaint is that this is a pretty short album (just over half an hour), and after waiting for it for over 3 years some will probably be unhappy about that. Some may also feel that this album is simply not "new" enough in terms of the sound, but for me the subtle variations in the overall sound of the band and of course in the songs themselves is enough. It is definitely quite similar to their past two outings, and some may argue that this sound is just too simple to be truly excellent. However, these guys have worked very hard to create something unique to them and I believe to the metal community as a whole. If you are a fan of stoner, sludge, or doom metal, this is an album you have to hear this year.

Killing Songs :
Hammerhandle, Mancoon, Jason…The Dragon, Long Gone
Khelek quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Weedeater that we have reviewed:
Weedeater - Sixteen Tons reviewed by Khelek and quoted 85 / 100
Weedeater - God Luck and Good Speed reviewed by Phil and quoted 90 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:18 am
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