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Weedeater – Jason …the Dragon

Southern Lord

It’s four years since God Luck and Good Speed came out and in those four years I have probably played it as much if not more than any other sludge album or any album for that matter with the possible exception of Harvey Milk.When I heard that Weedeater were releasing a new album I was excited, and unwisely and contrary to my usual cynical disposition believed the hyperbole put out by Southern Lord and others that this album would apparently “slay us all”. So when I first played Jason …the Dragon my first impression was underwhelming. Why? Firstly the first proper track “Hammerhandle” is so great the rest of the album is a bit of an anti-climax and secondly because it is not better than God Luck.

Repeated plays however show, that Jason, though it may not be any better than God Luck, is every bit as good and that means it is a great album. Weedeater have sludge pedigree in spades and it shows; you get the usual down-tempo rhythms, crushing riffs and growled vocals,  but they also manage to sound  tight and loose at the same time and unlike many of their contemporaries their songs never outstay their welcome. As I said, “Hammerhandle” is as good an opener as you will hear, “Palm” and “Opium” and “Whiskey Creek” offer up the now traditional forays into banjo-driven Americana, and the wonders of modern technology mean I can create a playlist of these lighter but somewhat more menacing moments to make my own perfect soundtrack to an imagined gothic gorefest. My only real disappointment is that the wonderfully titled “March of the Bipolar Bear” is a filler drum solo.

If you like Weedeater you will like this album, if you haven’t heard Weedeater then buy this album and God Luck and Good Speed too. Hopefully singer/bassist Dave “Dixie” Collins will take greater care with his guns in future – he can’t afford to lose anymore digits – the Buzzov*en reunion will prove shortlived, and Weedeater will record another album before 2015.

-Tim Marsh-

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