The first half of 2014 sees Louisiana’s Big 3 of down-tuned sludge and general doom-mongering releasing new material before they move out of town and take to the road. Down and Crowbar will be heading towards the UK for Bloodstock Festival this summer and hopefully Eyehategod won’t be too far behind them.
Of the three bands, EHG have to go down as the most extreme, both on and off record one suspects! Imagine the worst hangover you ever had crawling back out of the u-bend and demanding a rematch with you. Well, EHG sound, and in some cases look, like that. Screeching feedback, dirge-ridden riffs and the unmistakable bile-filled bellow of Mike Williams all mean that after a lengthy break from making albums; EHG are back and just as pissed off as ever.
‘Agitation! Propaganda!’ sums up everything great about EyeHateGod in just over two minutes. From the opening wail of feedback, straight into the madness and then the trademark EHG slam-of-the-anchors, it all stops down to a doom rumble. It’s one of EHG’s greatest qualities; to have jagged time changes that seem like they’ve forgotten what they were doing in the first place and to write songs that sound like utter chaos but still seem genuinely genius at the same time.
Mike has lost none of his energy over the years; the underground urban poet who paints the grimmest of pictures. He bellows over the muddy soundtrack like a mother of four tearaway kids trying to round up her tribe in your local Tesco. Only without the hoop earrings.
Although EHG’s sound is built on chaos it’s when they simplify things down to the bare bones that they shine. The classic sounding riff from ‘Quitters Offensive’ could have come from any of NOLA’s Big 3, but with Mike barking his monosyllabic lyrics all over them, this is unmistakably EHG.
There have been a lot of pretenders and imitators to the sludge throne since the birth of EHG. This self-titled outing demonstrates that EHG are still the best at their own game however. To the untrained ear it’s just vile noise but to the discerning rock fan, you can’t get a better release than from this band. This is one of their best albums to date. Welcome back brethren.