Friday, February 10, 2012

Sandrider - Sandrider

It’s been awhile since I’ve spotlighted a metal band and I can think of no better album to get back into the flow with than Sandrider’s self-titled debut. Sandrider is comprised of Jon Weisnewski (guitars, vocals) and Nat Damm (drums), best known as 2/3 of the excellent hardcore band Akimbo. Along with bassist Jesse Roberts, the trio creates some sludgy and groovy metal. Matt Bayles (Mastodon, ISIS, The Blood Brothers) is the perfect producer to bring out the band’s full potential and keep everything raw yet distinct. Right out of the gate, “Children” is a standout track with guitars that share hints of punk, blues, and metal, which are driven forward by crushing percussion and thunderous bass. The sound is not too far removed from that of Big Business or The Melvins.

“The Corpse” is another compilation of badass riffage. Any song that opens with the line “Breaking bread with the dragon” has my vote. Some clean vocals and guitars actually make an appearance towards the end of the track before the sonic equivalent of a jackhammer breaks everything up in the climax. The pace of the record slows down towards the end but becomes no less engaging. The pinnacle of this is “The Judge” which clocks in at over 10 minutes and doesn’t contain a boring second. The guitars establish a hypnotizing drone at the beginning but before you know it, you neck hurts from bobbing along with the swampy blues riffs at the end. It is rare to hear a metal record with such flawless composition. Sandrider’s debut is the perfect way to spend 40 minutes.

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