Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats
Vol. 1
(Rise Above Records)

Of the many Sabbath inspired groups that have formed in the 21st Century, Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats have consistently stood out to me as the best and most authentic vision of that late ’60s, early ’70s sound we have come to associate with labels like “doom,” “stoner,” and “fuzz.” Whether or not these words accurately describe a band like Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, whose own influences extend heavily into psych and early hard rock as well, is insignificant. Heavy metal is a genre with deep roots, canonized eras, and many subcategories to choose from. At this point, it’s an umbrella term that can be used to denote five decades worth of bands, sonic progressions, and even fashion styles depending on one’s age and personal tastes. Everyone may associate it differently, and for me, this is the sound of Heavy metal.

Initially self-released in 2010, Vol. 1 represents the beginning of a band that very quickly went on to release one of the strongest albums of the decade in Blood Lust, opened for Black Sabbath on their 2013 reunion tour, and become a top shelf touring act in Europe and America. Three additional, well-received releases have forged an estimable reputation for the Cambridge, England based quartet, and growing interest in their relatively obscure debut undoubtedly solidified a proper re-release on Rise Above Records, the group’s current label and stylistic ally.

Having been recorded on a small budget, it’s rough at times but still very listenable, and the band itself is remarkably fully formed in their sound and composition efforts. Swinging drums, hypnotic riffs, piercing leads, and hints of distorted organ make for the kind of record best experienced in a single session, somewhere in the dark with a set of good quality headphones. Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats harken back the days of albums-as-art and Vol. 1, while only a smattering of what was to come next, delivers throughout. Standout tracks for me include “Witches Garden,” “Lonely and Strange,” “Do What Your Love Tells You,” and “Wind Up Toys.”

Purchase the album on iTunes.

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