A couple weeks back we we waxed poetic in this column about how commercial rock stations have continuously dropped the ball over the last twenty or so years and ignored real, live rock n’ roll bands while peddling what essentially amounts to musical eunuchs. Well, with their debut album, The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown, Arkansas’ Iron Tongue are here to help return those missing balls to the rock world.
There’s an obvious movement afoot in the metal world to hearken back to the days of yore. The 1970s have never been more popular within the metal community than they are right now. Another positive trend is the “Southern sound” which we are going to look back on a decade from now and be able to pinpoint a myriad of bands that are doing their best to promulgate. If you took the very best parts of both those sounds and threw them in a blender you’d wind up with the musical smoothie that is Iron Tongue.
The musical well in which this band draws from is a deep and impressive one. A list of their influences would read like a who’s-who of 70’s rock – Deep Purple, Mountain, Blue Cheer, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sir Lord Baltimore, etc., etc. But this isn’t some blind 70’s rock worship going on. Iron Tongue are heavier and darker than all of the above. They write soulful, powerful songs that set up a dark and descending mood that most of their good-timing influences ever really achieved. They also aren’t tied to the rock formula, writing multiple tracks that clock in at or over the eight-minute mark. Iron Tongue obviously have stories to tell and their going to take however long they please to tell them. Whether it’s the huge, chunky riffs, the harrowing accompanying female vocals, or the spacey organ this band clearly has one eye to the past and one eye firmly fixated on the future.
Fans of varying forms of metal will find something to dig with this record. Doom and sludge fans for example will be salivating all over a track like “Lioness” while stoner/hard rock fans will be able to sink their teeth into plenty. The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown is out now on Neurot Recordings.
Everyone is familiar with the term “Swedish death metal” but there’s one band in particular that simply does not get enough credit for being one of the greats of the genre. Desultory might best be know for their drastic shift in musical direction (and frankly its disastrous consequences) but they should be remembered for their early output, including the album Into Eternity, which is a classic of the death metal genre. Go (re)visit it now.