Pin It
Favorite

Backwater Blues 

Southern rock rises again.

click to enlarge art15445.jpg

Barones is the best metal band you’ve never heard. For now. And it’s likely the days of you not knowing about Baroness will end soon: They recently supported Mastodon (who stopped here in Spokane back in May) and are coming through again with the Deftones. Oh, and they’ll be supporting freaking Metallica as well.

It remains to be seen whether these high-profile tours will get the Savannah, Ga., band on everyone’s mind (the Metallica tour’s in Australia and they are big in Japan. But then again, who isn’t?). Regardless, the potential to skyrocket in popularity is there, and these sweaty, swamp-logged boys deserve it much more than many of their screechy, grating contemporaries.

For now, they’ll have to be content with being critical darlings — Baroness’ latest album Blue Record (not the most creative name, but side note: vocalist John Baizley does all the cover art, and it is straight-up amazing) turned reviewers’ heads on both sides of the tracks, with metalheads and hipsters alike digging it. Through some kind of mythical metal-math equation, they’ve hit upon an agreeable blend of deep-rooted Southern blues and slow, hypnotic rock that probably gets a ghostly thumbs-up from both John Bonham and Ronnie Van Zant.

Lead guitarist Pete Adams shreds with aplomb, but it’s never noodling for the sake of showing off: The arpeggios and solos mesh perfectly with the rest of the band (in the bands’ words, “gossamer melodies and striking, earnest riffs,” which sounds self-aggrandizing but is not totally inaccurate). Baizley’s voice is powerful and menacing without sounding like the damned Cookie Monster, growling about ashes and war and dour biblical allusions.

So maybe innovation isn’t exactly rampant within Baroness. But there’s something to be said for really nailing the groove, hitting a platonic ideal of sludgy, mesmerizing metal, the kind capable of drawing you in for a spell and making you forget (at least momentarily) if you’ve been listening to it for minutes, hours or days. Not that we’re officially condoning the practice of getting incredibly high and sitting in front of your stereo for the 44 minutes of Blue Record, but it might be the best way to experience it. Hypothetically.

As expansive (and divisive) metal is as a genre, it’s hard to say when one band gets it right. There are so many definitions of right that one fan or another is going to take umbrage at any hierarchal decisions. So let’s avoid all the jousting about who’s better than who and put things in a metaphor all metal fans can appreciate: To say that Led Zeppelin would be nodding their heads in tribute to Baroness is perhaps the greatest compliment one could give. It’s obviously not one we can actually convey, since we can’t speak for them, but the chances are pretty damn good that if you put this on Jimmy Page’s hi-fi, he might sit a spell and listen.

Baroness plays with the Deftones at the Knitting Factory on Thursday, Aug. 12, at 7 pm. Tickets: $33-$35. All-ages. Visit www. ticketfly.com or call 244-3279.

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Volume is Back!
  • Volume is Back!

    Volume 2015 Inlander Music Festival: Everything you need to know, and suggested lineups for every musical taste
    • May 20, 2015
  • That Was Awesome!
  • That Was Awesome!

    White Mystery hits the stage and screen at Volume
    • May 20, 2015
  • On the Road
  • On the Road

    Touring acts are coming to Volume from all over America, but it's still about the Northwest
    • May 20, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Spoon

Spoon @ Knitting Factory

Mon., May 25, 8 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Jeff Echert

  • Emerald Queen
  • Emerald Queen

    The prodigal daughter of the Pacific Northwest comes home again.
    • Jun 29, 2011
  • 'Deerhoof Vs. Evil,' Deerhoof
  • 'Deerhoof Vs. Evil,' Deerhoof

    The working man’s rock music has always been defined by artists like Bruce Springsteen who sing about the 9-to-5ers. But there’s something to be said for Tapes ‘n Tapes, a band workman-like in the way it consistently churns out solid tunes. If there’s such a thing as a bad Tapes ‘n Tapes song, it’s yet to be released.
    • Feb 9, 2011
  • 'Cardinals III / IV,' Ryan Adams
  • 'Cardinals III / IV,' Ryan Adams

    If you're not a Ryan Adams superfan, pass on this album.
    • Jan 12, 2011
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Band to Watch 2015: LOOMER

    How two children of the nineties embraced the decade
    • May 20, 2015
  • Desert Rage

    Mad Max: Fury Road will restore your faith in action movies
    • May 13, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation