LA label puts out the latest of its two band showcases

The latest instalment of LA label Ripple’s always fine “Second Coming Of Heavy” series was one that got us a little excited here at MV.  Mini albums designed to get brilliant music more widely heard, it has already been excellent over the last couple of years or so, but Volume VII promised something a little special.

The first three songs are from Switchblade Jesus, who’s debut album we reviewed back in the spring of 2015, pronouncing it “phenomenal” when we did . And we are very happy to report that the Texan’s are in mighty fine form here too.

Dealing only in mighty, meaty slabs of guitar – “Snakes And Lions” starts like that – and with the potatoes of an earth shaking rhythm section to go with it, they are one of those three piece bands that make you wonder just how the hell they do it.

Happy to explore, their songs are a journey. “Wet Lungs” achieves more in its ten minutes than a lot of bands manage in a career. There is something ominous and brooding about its 10 minutes that makes for uneasy listening – spoken word portions always do that – but it is quite superb.

Their trio ends with “Heavy Is The Mountain” which, if anything, is a little more pummelling, even than what has gone on before. Certainly, they work themselves into a rare frenzy here.

If this was a gig and we had to review the next act, we’d probably say something like, “well, follow that.”

In this context, the job falls with Fuzz Evil and they are coming straight out of the Arizona desert as if they mean business.

Another band we’ve got history with at MV. FE are made up in part of brothers Wayne and Joseph Rudell, who not only did we love in 2016 with Evil, but are also in the brilliant Powdered Wig Machine.

More urgent, and as the name would suggest, a lot more fuzzed up than SJ, “Better Off Alone” instead imagines some mystical world where Lemmy is jamming with QOTSA, and the huge bass groove of “Graves And Cupids” is the bedrock on which they will use to bulldoze down any venue they play in.

The other two of their tracks are no less impressive. “If You Know” is a five-minute dry as dust homage to the riff, and they spread out a little on “Flighty Woman” to both slam in their own way and find a vibe of the occult rock while they rummage around.

A brilliant intro as to what both these fine bands can do, “The Second Coming Of Heavy” is one of the finest in what was already a superb series of releases.

Rating 8/10

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