Saturday, 21 July 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #270 - Baroness, "Yellow & Green"

A double LP of metal? Oh, dang! Not the best idea for picking up the pace of the 2kDozen 500. Even if it is anti-Glazer.

They come from the Blue Ridge Mountains, I read; and they are definitely at the melodic end of metal. The bass merely grumbles and the drums tom about; very little terror exercised or exorcised. "Twinkler" doesn't exactly sound like a black metal ode to Shataan, does it? This is not a criticism. (Anyway reading this blog can tell you that I don't do criticism, purely blather.) It does have something like a metal wasp buzzing around in the background and the lyrics are self-mythic. A title like "Cocainium" is a bit pretentious in that hollow way that metal bands reach for a latinate word to impress audiences. Always backfires, even when the actual track isn't that pompous.

 Everything doubles up with these guys - vocals, guitar lines, albums. Nothing exceeds like excess. "Back Where I Belong" sounds a bit like Hotel California. In fact, quite a lot like Hotel California. Aren't The Eagles meant to be very litigious? Or is that just between themselves? They certainly don't sound very happy about coming home, "Next to you/Stuck to you." Some bad synth thunder clouds hang over the end of the track.

Bombast dons its leather trousers for "Sea Lungs": "Why so sad?/Your tears are no match for mine." Aaah, the well-trod path between emo and metal. Are they musics that reflect the size of the feelings inside with large, slow-moving sounds? Is that the link? The Yellow side closer "Eula" is the second tune in a row to remind me of U2's The Unforgettable Fire in two (quite different) albums. Why am I listening out for that? I don't even really know that album. "If I had a heart/I would waste it on you," more of that almost-romance stuff. It comes across as a bit more socially-able than the darker, more extreme metal business.

So is there any difference with the Green album? I hope to Jeebus this isn't the sexual jealousy side, because I fear enough for their relationships as it is. The "Green Theme" has plenty of drift, bending notes that call monumental post-rock to mind more than the rigid categories of Der Metaal. All the different masculinities that are conjured up.

There was more, but the computer crashed. And I cannot be jiggered to write it out all again. Suffice it to say I was getting curious notes of The Osmonds, Chesney Hawkes and just not metal.  I couldn't even hand on heart describe it as hard rock. "Walking the line between the righteous and the wicked," maybe they're just as much good ol' boys as the antebellum porch would suggest.

Rating: Cocainium out of Osmonds

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