Not only did they basically create a new genre with their debut album In The Name Of Suffering and its more polished (but no less punishing) follow-up Take As Needed For Pain, they’ve managed to stay in the game, just recently celebrating their 25th anniversary. With that celebration unfortunately came a very serious bump in the road with the tragic loss of founding member Joey Lacaze last year. Not ones to let this tragedy stop the juggernaught that is EHG, they made a triumphant return to the stage at the Housecore Horror Film Festival in 2013.
Eyehategod marks the 5th time Mike IX Williams and crew have entered the studio together but this album sounds like the work of a much younger band. I don’t mean this in any negative way either. EHG combine their knowledge of what works and what doesn’t with an explosion of energy usually found in bands 20 years their junior. The result is an album that rivals their earliest work in almost all aspects. I’m not going to do a track by track breakdown because…just because I’m not…but I want to mention some of the high points of the album in my opinion.
just the right amount of hardcore attitude to keep you dancing on the edge of a sludge induced head nodding coma
Screaming EHG back into the musical landscape on Agitation! Propaganda! Mike Williams vocals sound as tortured and strangled as ever, allowing the listener to only catch snatches of lyrics the first listen through, demanding repeat listens to decipher. Like a one-two punch in the teeth, the next track Trying to Crack the Hard Dollar starts off with a riff that just demands you throw yourself into a swirling pit of bodies and lose yourself while Williams screams about the “league of bitter enders”. I’m almost certain that Robitussin and Rejection is where my vinyl will wear through. It’s been on repeat in my house for weeks, slowly driving my neighbors crazy. It’s this kind of track that EHG does best, sludgy and slow mixed with just the right amount of hardcore attitude to keep you dancing on the edge of a sludge induced head nodding coma.
I know I only touched on a few songs here but that was out of a desire to not end up in over my head, spouting off musical terminology like I know what I’m talking about. In short, this album not only reaffirms Eyehategod’s place at the top of the sludge pile (puddle? Would they be the greasy scum floating on top?), it reminds me why I started listening to them in the first place: intense energy and unbridled frustration and anger in a condensed musical form. Do yourself a favor and add this to your musical arsenal if you haven’t already.