Jun 18, 2012
16 - Deep Cuts from Dark Clouds ...
What makes them unique the most (for me anyway0 is the way they tune their guitars. Nobody else sounds like it. I also think what has stopped them from being considered one of the truly great bands is their albums are always good but not quite good enough to put them into the essential category. It has always been like a vital element has been missing and nothing has changed on that front with this new release. Of course 16 created a very high standard for themselves many years ago and that standard is still being maintained (well almost). These 10 songs are gritty but like all their other releases, variation is almost non-existent. You can pretty much hear this entire album just by listening to the first 20 seconds of each track as they never change much beyond that. However repetition is fine when the riffs are great and indeed they are very good on this album.
Starting with the wonderfully titled 'Theme from "Pillpopper' the band unleash one monster riff after another and while these songs don't vary too much at all; each song has a killer riff that can't be ignored. It is predictable to a point but the hardcore attitude and the relentless drug-laced riffing is good enough to make this 40 minutes a very easy 40 minutes to sit through. Standout cuts are hard to pick though and that there lays the problem. These songs are good but not that good, the riffs are good but not highly memorable and you can't help but get the impression, they are a bit stuck for ideas at this stage in the bands existence. The album is still an adrenaline-fueled onslaught but it gets stuck in one gear and never changes. While no songs stand out by themselves, there are moments of instrumental brilliance. There are the odd psychedelic, mind-bending solo, the odd mesmerizing drone and they still know how to sit up a mid-tempo doom groove and that ultimately is what makes this very listenable. I can't rate this as high as classics like the 'Curves That Kick' and 'Blaze of Incompetence' albums but still a very worthwhile listen...7/10.
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