Review: Jumbos Killcrane, "The Slow Decay"

Crushing. Monstrous. Apocalyptic.

And while we're at it, how about massive, pulverizing, prostrating, annihilating, walloping, clobbering and squashing: Oh yeah, and gigantesque. And mastodonic.

There's no shortage of adjectives when it comes to describing local "doom punkers" Jumbo's Killcrane. On the band's third full-length album (trust us, six songs is plenty), the band delivers what its label Crucial Blast Records promises: "new mutations in extreme music."

"The Slow Decay" is heavy music for heavy-music people people who will take grunting over singing any day; who will salivate at the prospect of hearing a song titled "die, stabbed"; who consider melody to be a sign of weakness.

Described by Crucial Blast as a "psychotic marriage" of Nirvana's "Bleach" and Eyehategod's "Take As Needed for Pain," this six-songs album should satiate the most discerning heavy music fans. One word that's rarely mentioned in the Jumbo's press pile is "metal" most likely to steer clear any comparisons to crap nu-metal (which the band sounds nothing like and probably despises).

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Instead, "The Slow Decay" is a hypnotic and riveting assault powered by iron-fisted drummer Adrian Proctor, bassist Troy Richardson and scorched-throat vocalist/guitarist Eric Jarvis. The album's six tracks offer nary a quiet moment, save for an ambient intro that serves as a devilish bait-and-switch. Beyond that, it's all drop-D guitar sludge and rarely intelligible snarled vocals.

Four of the album's six songs top the seven-minute mark ("Locust Blanket" is a weak 5:34). Each song is prone to sudden changes in tempo and time signature, all sewn together into mayhem-wreaking epics. And thanks to Black Lodge Studio's Robert Rebeck, the album lacks little in the way of fidelity.

Jumbo's Killcrane will do little for those who shirk away from heavy music. The band doesn't have the kind of crossover appeal that a Queens of the Stone Age or Mars Volta exhibits, and rarely offers anything even remotely as palatable. But if you're a heavy-music guy who's heavily into this type of stuff this is some heavy shit, dude.

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