Alabama Thunderpussy - 'Open Fire'
This album sounds a lot like Arch Enemy guitarist Michael Ammot's side-band, Spiritual Beggars. Classic hard rock/heavy metal worshipping riffs, melodic and expressive solos, and great, full-throated rock vocals. A lot of the time I really felt like I was listening to something from Spiritual Beggars' awesome 'Ad Astra' or 'Demons' albums.
To be honest, it also sounds a bit closer to what I was hoping for with the new Clutch album - songs like 'The Cleansing', 'Greed' or 'Whiskey War' have solid southern-rock inspired grooves, but they're also heavy to an extent that a lot of the material on 'From Beale Street To Oblivion' isn't. I wouldn't declare a definitive preference one way or the other at this point (I am a moral coward), but I will say that, upon sober (and also completely drunk) consideration, 'Open Fire' is looking better and better as a contender for that personal year's best listing I was blathering about recently.
I'm also encouraged by the sound of this album. I'd peg the sound as general-purpose heavy music - not stoner, or southern or sludge or whatever. At a time when heavy music seems divided into an excess of sub-genres, many of which are self-limiting rather than self-defining, a band like Alabama Thunderpussy that hits so hard, taking no hostages while opening fire, without declaring an allegiance to any genre other than rocking kickassery in its broadest form is a bit of a rare and fine thing.
The Eiderdown-Stuffing Bottomline: This one should get a dumb grin cracking your face open the same way a really good spliff will. If it doesn't, please go to Muzak Jail, and turn in all your rock and metal CDs at the gate. Come on! It even has a marauding barbarian on the cover - what more do you want??!!