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Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Blood Lust

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There’s a line from the film Knocked Up that’s always resonated strongly with me. Paul Rudd’s character is watching his daughters chase bubbles through a playground and sighs, “I wish I liked anything as much as my kids like bubbles.” It’s funny in a sad way, reminding us that we’re no longer children, and that some of life’s excitement and wonder are gone. Chase down those moments of pure happiness, because they are few and fleeting. Blood Lust by Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats is one of those moments.

Much like Stone Axe and The Gates Of Slumber before them, Uncle Acid pay tribute to the past without pandering to it. The mysterious trio can trace their musical lineage to both Birmingham and Detroit; Uncle Acid’s Ozzy falsetto floats atop riffs and rhythms straight out of the Motor City playbook (MC5, Stooges, Amboy Dukes, etc.). Things slow to a Cathedral-esque doom crawl at the beginning of “Curse In The Trees”, which boasts lyrics that Lee Dorrian only wishes he could have written: “Take me through the tall black trees and drag me through the fields / I’ve been sitting waiting for you here / Push me past the villagers as they bay for my blood, you / Begin my torture as they cheer.” Hardly profound, but they set the perfect tone for the echoing reverb and eeriness that drench the song. This is an aural Hammer film.

Blood Lust could be a one-trick pony, but, just when things get familiar, the band shake it up. “13 Candles” is a seven-minute jam that layers disparate guitar tracks which cohere to the song’s main theme in surprising ways, à la Jimmy Page on Houses of the Holy. “Withered Hand of Evil” is one motherfucker of a closing track, riding the heaviest riff since Down’s “Bury Me in Smoke”, and fading out with a haunting synth strings section that stays with you long after the song is over. No hipsters, no irony, just rock and roll.

— Chris Rowella

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Uncle Acid & The DeadBeats – “I’ll Cut You Down”

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