"Acid" is right. Practically every cut on San Fran neanderthud trio Acid King's third full-length opens very gradually, just like the tentative onset of an LSD trip. Ditto the full-sensory explosion that inevitably follows, smacking you into psycho-physical submission. Subscribing to a low-end theory similar to the Melvins, Sleep and Electric Wizard, the band guitarist Lori S. (who was once married to the Melvins' Dale Crover), drummer Joey Osbourne and bassist Guy Pinhas unfurls bass-heavy slo-mo riffs then proceeds to brutalize them while Lori wails like some distaff Ozzy teetering on the precipice of a breakdown. In the Sabbath-styled grind of "On to Everafter," the singer even seems ready to succumb to the final void when she shudders "the end comes closer/closer to the light." The record's centerpiece is the 12-minute "War of the Mind," its sludgeadelic churn sucking the listener down into a no-escape black hole where one might find Hawkwind lurking. (Hold that thought: The group previously contributed to a Hawkwind tribute album, the track "Motorhead" subsequently popping up as a bonus cut on Small Stone's reissue of the 1999 Acid King album Busse Woods.) Don't worry, though; while claustrophobia may set in, it's guaranteed to be a good kind of freakout.
Fred Mills writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].