Vultures EP (Pig08pig/Silver Records)
Ah, now here is a band who will really melt your face off and collapse your head in. With so many cookie-cutter scene bands with cookie monster vocals, it’s hard to cut through the unbearable dross and find good new music. You may be wondering if anyone really knows the way to rock anymore? IRATA from Greensboro, NC (or just known as ‘the boro’, as my friends from down that way tell me) not only know the right way to rock; they are fully unconcerned with the trends of today. This two-man operation make raw, unrelenting rock music that grooves when it’s supposed to, crushes when it needs to and will leave you wanting more.
Many bands are doing the two-man, spartan style approach these days, most notably BIG BUSINESS and BLACK COBRA. IRATA uses a guitarist when they play live to fill out the sound and replicate the denseness of their tracks. While they shares some obvious traits with those other dynamic duos, they also forge their own ground. “Old Smoker” has a sick, ostinato riff and thunderous drums of doom. Razor sharp guitar riffs come over the top to complete the trifecta and send this killer track over the top. “Keeper’s Maker” is next. The hypnotic bass line of this track also sent me over the moon. There will be a lot of comparisons of the twin lead vocals of drummer Jason Ward and bassist Jon Case to say, PERRY FERREL of JANE’S ADDICTION. Normally that might not be a plus for me, but in this context it works. I also hear some of the vocal influence of the bands’ producer, PHILLIP COPE of KYLESA. The track definitely calls to mind some of the more interesting names in rock and metal sonically such as THE MELVINS, HIGH ON FIRE, TORCHE, FIREBALL MINISTRY, TOTIMOSHI, THE MELVINS earliest works and even unsung 1990′s alt rock band SMILE. “Miser” is starts out like more of a brooding, atmospheric track before it takes an interesting left turn. The plodding, funeral march of the heavy parts is terrific and offsets the calmer moments. The lyrics are near genius too. It certainly makes one think of the bands’ Carolina born forefathers, in CORROSION OF CONFORMITY and that groups rough hewn work. “Deluge” is more a straight ahead rocker, but no less enjoyable. The chorus is one of the best I’ve heard this year in terms of shear heaviness and a clever amount of wah pedal on the bass. “Serpents” ends things on an obtuse few notes musically, enough to give more than a few surprises. Neat layers of chiming guitar licks add color over the heavy grooves. Very cool. I’d say keep a close eye and ear on IRATA and certainly don’t underestimate them.
by Keith (Keefy) Chachkes
Tags: clever lyrics, corrosion of conformity, doom, FIREBALL MINISTRY, great bass lines, High on Fire, IRATA, lo-fi 1990's Alt-Rock, metal, PHILLIP COPE of KYLESA, Pig08pig/Silver Records, real rock n roll, sludge, some of the more interesting names in rock, spartan style approach to bands, The Melvins, The Metal Army Blog, Torche, Totimoshi, two-man, Vultures EP