In the strange wake of music's digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES reviews the output of L.A.'s healthy vinyl community, believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros.
Title: 1 + Dog Days / Flower of Disease
Label: Southern Lord (East Hollywood)
Format: 2LP and 1LP, 180 gram black vinyl
Read our review, and download some free thrash after the jump.
It begins with a blood-curdling cry and quickly, wonderfully devolves into the stuff of stoners' dreams: thick grinding guitar, splashy clanging drums, lyrics about being a "motorized super-satan," Ozzy-like vocal vibrato and, yes, even a bongo solo. Goatsnake, a sludge supergroup comprising members of Obsessed, Sunn O))), Wool and Scream to name a few, helped define Southern California's late-'90s metal scene after Kyuss and Saint Vitus vacated the premises. Considering, it should be no surprise that listening to 1999's Goatsnake Vol. 1, finally reissued on vinyl bundled with the subsequent Dog Days EP, brings back a host of good memories--early Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stones Age, the last time you saw Eagles of Death Metal live, and the entirety of the Desert Sessions catalog.
But things get darker, and darker still, as we approach 2000's Flower of Disease. Greg Anderson's guitar becomes more prevalent as Peter Stahl's voice gets more lonesome and hollow. The blacker than black Dog Days cover of Sabbath's "Who Are You?" offers a hint of where things are going, even (especially) considering the mournful violin cameo from Petra Haden. Goatsnake's final full-length features spooky backup wailing (again, from Haden) and doom riffs that slow to a crawl, plus the most metal harmonica and jaw harp solos you'll most likely ever hear. There's a certain slickness here, but an inimitable weirdness too, the combination of which makes this band so distinctly, quintessentially Los Angeles. The gorgeous repackaging, first-hand liner notes and bonus track "Knucklebuster" are the whipped cream, cherry and, of course, nuts on top.
DOWNLOAD: Goatsnake - "Easy Greasy" [MP3]
Purchase at your local independent record vendor (INCHES recommends Origami or Vacation), or right now via the Southern Lord web store. Goatsnake gives a rare performance at Southern Lord's free Power of the Riff Festival, going down at The Echo and Echoplex on Saturday, August 8. Time to relearn the words to "Lord of Los Feliz."
Origami Vinyl's Top Ten Best-Sellers: July 12 - 25
01. Summer Darling - Summer Darling (Origami Vinyl)
02. Spiritualized - Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space (Plain)
04. M.I.A. - MAYA (Interscope)
05. Slow Animal - "theFUNsun" 7-inch (JaxArt)
06. Standing Shadows - "Circus Freak" 7-inch (self-released)
07. Geneva Jacuzzi - Lamaze (Vinyl International)
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08. LA Vampires & Zola Jesus - LA Vampires & Zola Jesus (Not Not Fun)
Origami Vinyl is located at 1816 W. Sunset Blvd., 90026 (213.413.3030).