At various points during Throned in Blood, the 2010 LP from scabrous blues-metal-and-more duo Jucifer, singer Amber Valentine and drummer Edgar Livengood sound alternately like Black Flag, Sleep, Jefferson Airplane, Melt Banana and a front-porch bard committed to eternity by Alan Lomax. Those references might suggest an intimidating and occasionally unapproachable mix, and it's true: Despite all their talents, the couple—who roam the country by van, living on the road and setting down only long enough to unpack, play and pack again—has long struggled to filter its touchstones into a discrete and identifiable unit. That's translated into their lack of marketability, meaning that their sound (defined by its very lack of definition) has often forced them into the non-commercial doldrums between indie rock and heavy metal.
But the web of influences Jucifer has carved into its bludgeoning rock tunes during the last two decades creates a fascinating, hyperlinked discography, where the goths hang out with the hippies, where the punks carry both electric and acoustic axes. It's all united by Valentine's voice, a superbly visceral and flexible instrument that's capable of coupling all those guides to one controlling force. Great duos depend upon chemistry and compulsion; add Jucifer to the list. With Spit-Face and Thrash Can. —Grayson Currin