Accepting stoner metal on its own terms isn't the easiest thing. As if taking names like Electric Wizard and Orange Goblin seriously wasn't already tough enough, stoner metal dudes typically champion bong rips, puke 'n' rallies, ugly beards, acid stories and the most annoying kind of whimsy—the drugged-out, meathead kind, to be exact.
On its third record, though, Wilmington sludge threesome Weedeater has more in common with "academic" girth metal bands like Om and Sunn O)))—or the straight up mud of San Fran purists Acid King—than the vintage hesher smoke-shop stuff, name aside. Proof? That wet, blobby, bass-heavy mass of tone coming from the stringed instruments smeared across God Luck and Good Speed. Recorded by Steve Albini, the album is the rawest offering in an already raw catalog. Albini's touch sends Weedeater even deeper into the muck they've been traipsing through for nearly a decade. Setting the tenor immediately, God Luck opens with its title track, a wobbly alloy hum that gives way to swamp-soaked guitars and kitman Kiko's stalled stomp. The guitar trades turns with the drums in grooves that reveal the record's respect for the physicality and sloth-like, purposeful movement of pot-metal early and often.
But most impressive of all is "Dixie" Dave Collins, whose bog of a throat can croak lines like "Mankind is unkind, man" (or "I am the last Weedmonkey") without eliciting a laugh. Shit's downright scary. And in the end, for all its bongwater stench, the music on God Luck and Good Speed is a whole lot better than its stoner ephemera is bad. Accepting Weedeater on its own terms is a pretty manageable task.