Saturday, February 11, 2006

Stoner Sludge

Proto-metal stoner sludge is not what I expected after reading a few lines about Pearls & Brass, describing them as "bluesy rock and roll," "modern classic rock" and the like. With one giant power chord they managed to erase any preconceived notions I had about "classic" rock and blast my ears as if the past three decades of rock never happened.

Drag City released their sophomore album, The Indian Tower, just days ago, on Jan. 24. The band hails from Nazareth, Pennsylvania (which is, no shit, about 6 miles from Bethlehem). This trio of young guys sound like they should be bearded and bell-bottomed, smelling like bongwater. They've reached back into the ancient rock vaults and unearthed the under-appreciated vibes of proto-metalists like Mountain, Cactus and Blue Cheer, also revealing for us how such modern touchstones as Kyuss or Queens of the Stone Age found their sound.

"The Face of God" is a saga of power, heaviness and motion. "Wake in the Morning" gets sludgy, dredging the depths of molten blues. All the song titles are monumentous: "No Stone," "Black Rock Man," "Beneath the Earth."

The Indian Tower rocks. It sways, boogies, wails, thunders and emerges from the Nazarene wilderness completely embodying the legacy founded by prehistoric metal. See it live, hear it loud.

Pearls & Brass play at 10 pm Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Luckey's. $3-$5.

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