Thursday, June 6, 2013

Album Review - Morality Crisis 'Boats'

Label: Minnesconsin Records (

If there was a prize for most misleadingly tame artwork, the pleasantly sketched cover of 'Minnesconsin' sludge rockers Morality Crisis would no doubt be in for a nod.One can picture some hapless soul perusing their local record store in search of some relaxing post-rock or smooth jazz, gazing at the serenely sketched yellow and blue vista in front of them, and deciding to shell out a few bucks, in the hope of being able to light one up and bliss out , headphones on, on their lovely new retro bean bag . . .

 . . Only for their world to be torn down completely from the second the rumbling bass line of opener 'Enormous Fucking Death Ass Knife' sounds out,  with a voice that sounds like Glen Benton gargling glass intoning the hateful mantra-like lyrics over a slow burning cacophony of down tuned ,molasses thick riffs .This is some seriously heavy shit kid, and you're in over your head . . .

Following on from the progressive sludge metal brilliance of 'North/Log' and 'Taker Her To The Trend Bar', Morality Crisis have evolved their sound a great deal,and Boats is a weirder, more schizophrenic,less accessible  listen than previous works by the band.Picture early Mastodon and Baroness on The Melvins' drugs, while Mike Patton produces and Big Business share some cheap speed with The Dillinger Escape Plan in the corner, and you're halfway to describing the nerve shredding lunacy of songs like 'Naptaker' and the amusingly titled 'Touched By an Adult' .The band suck in influences from disciplines as disparate as death metal, Bison B.C esque sludge rock and even jazz to craft their bizarre , fucked up compositions.Witness the way 'Anxiety Rifle' stumbles into view on a  monolithic smoked out stoner riff ,before spinning off into random jazzy interludes,blast beats  and skewed vocal melodies,  eventually collapsing into an uneasy melodic detour, only to explode again in spastic violence.All in the same song.

Make no mistake, this is not an easy listen.Boats is an album many of you will hate the first time you hear it.It is  belligerent, obnoxiously dissonant , and makes no effort at all to try and suck you in via a sneaky pop hook the way a band like Dillinger might.This is music made by men with clear issues and a sick sense of humour to boot.Its  also brilliant, refusing to bow to cliché or trends, the band forging their own uniquely twisted identity.Essential, nightmarish stuff.


For fans of : Mastodon, Tomahawk, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mockingbird

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Release Date: 25th of June 2013

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