In our new monthly feature, which will show up here on the 15th of every month and run over the next few days, I (Angry Metal Guy) will select 5 bands at random (usually those who have followed my directions and have bandcamp accounts) to get blurbed by every member of the AMG staff. The idea is to do at least a bit of our part to point out that the metal underground is still an important part of the world of metal. While we simply don’t have the manpower to produce regular reviews of unsigned bands, this is my attempt at a minor mea culpa if nothing else. So enjoy Angry Metal Guy’s Unsigned Band Rodeo and our second entry for April 2013: Boudain!
Boudain is a four-piece from Monroe, LA whose first release will be out officially on the 16th of April (today!). While the band has been together since 2006, this is the first recording and that’s actually kind of surprising. Coming in a long tradition of NOLA sludge, Boudain isn’t going to blow you out of the water with their originality. But they might just knock you back in the mud for a long, dirty swim with the pigs. Download the EP at their Bandcamp and check ’em out on Facebook.
Angry Metal Guy: Fat as a good ol’ boy after 40 years of soul food is the way I’d describe this 30 minute EP from Boudain. Also loud. But the retro, sludgy vibes are perfectly reflected by the pig on the cover: fat and dirty. The tone is fantastic, with rotund riffs and copious helpings of Sabbath doom or Kyuss worship. With very little melody vocally and a production that is so overmastered that it sounds like it’s going to blow out your speakers, there are plenty of reasons to skip on this, however. Yeah, sure, it’s influenced by the metal of yesteryear, and steeped in the dirty southern NOLA sludge and rock traditions (Crowbar, Eyehategod, Down, you know the drill) and that can make for an interesting blend in some situations; but mostly it makes me want to use my smart phone and GPS to find my way to a cafe with free WiFi so that I can use Skype to video call someone. We’re living in the future, not 1978… though I guess that’s obvious given how loud this is. I am disappoint. 2.0/5.0
Steel Druhm: Boudain is a sludgy stoner act from NOLA and you can clearly hear the echoes of bayou buddies Crowbar, Down and long forgotten Floodgate in their sound. As they bash out huge, wickedly fuzzy riffs, the astute listener will hear traces of Sabbath, Kyuss, and Clutch and that sounds mighty swine to me. There’s also copious bluesy swagger, backwoods groove and southern boogie reminiscent of ZZ Top. Though the vocals aren’t much more than shouts and the songs get bogged down at times, there’s something special here and I can see these guys making it big if they keep maturing and refining their writing. That’s why I’m awarding them the first ever “Steel Druhm’s Stamp of Big Potential and Band to Watchiness” (Pat. Pending). Keep your eyes on these ragin’ Cajuns. 3.0/5.0
Madam X: I’m hoping this sausage-fest of pure unadulterated Sabbath worship gets swallowed up in Tarantino’s next homage to old-school Grindhouse! Boudain’s “Slaveman” opens up sounding like a poor Candlemass substitute; it’s mighty sludgy, doomy and has just the right level of soupy down-tunedness that will have your knees shaking when you crank up the volume. Boudain’s ghoul on vocals goes from, in some instances sounding like a heavily jacked up version of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell to reminding me of the macabre Rob Zombie during his House of a 1000 Corpses stint – check out “Trailerpark” and tell me it isn’t so! It was the rocking straight-for-the-throat, thick, sometimes trudging, sometimes hulking, repetitive guitar work on tracks like “King of the Cosmos” and “Kalifornia” that kept me spinning this album. In the words of Stuntman Mike… “I wasn’t following you, Butterfly, I just got lucky!” A lucky find indeed. 3.0/5.0
Fisting Andrew Golgota: Boudain is one of countless bands trying (unsuccessfully) to clone the Kyuss sound of yesteryear. While the sound itself is a spot-on impersonation, the songwriting is pretty uninspired by any measure. 2.0/5.0
Happy Metal Guy: This EP sounds like the sonic equivalent of the vengeful spirit of a mean, obese swine. Lumbering, fuzzy guitar riffs and dopey solos put the mind into a trance-like state before compelling one’s body to lie on the butcher’s chopping board. Then, the butcher arrives and chops you up into tiny, bite-sized pieces to feed to the marijuana-addicted hounds. The only downside is the dull cover art and seemingly random and unrelated track titles. 3.0/5.0
Alex Franquelli: From time to time a band comes out of nowhere claiming they know how to handle those riffs. They know what to do with them and there’s no way you can explain to them that, well, what Toni Iommi did back in the 1970s cannot be perfected 40 years later. You can slow them down and even detune your guitar, but adding growling vocals on top of a riff out of Volume 4 won’t necessarily make your songs better. And this is exactly what Boudain don’t do. The pig on the cover must be their manifesto: you don’t throw anything away when you slaughter a swine because everything can be used and eaten. The same applies to the band’s music: acid, psychedelic, freaky, trippy. Everything matters. Boudain don’t reproduce; they deconstruct all their influences and filter the disjointed fragments through sludge and stoner rock. Didn’t Eyehategod and Down do it ages ago? Yes, but that was ages ago and Volume 4 is a fantastic album. 3.5/5.0