Regular readers know I'm a country-loving metalhead. The country is an old flame, the rock/metal is a new passion I can thank my husband for...and every day, I move closer to the dark side.
Anti-Mortem's New Southern has probably sealed the deal. I can feel the METAL coursing through my veins when I hear it. It's freeing. I love it.
I got to see Anti-Mortem when they opened for Machine Head in July at Springfield's Outland Ballroom. They kicked more ass than the stifling heat in the completely packed upstairs space. And that's saying something. You can read about the Oklahoma boys here.
|The bio I linked above says not one of these guys is older than 22.|
So...I'm old enough to be Cool Aunt Carrie who buys them beer. Fantastic.
New Southern will probably (by "probably," I mean "definitely") bring to mind a legendary metal band from a bit further south, the one and only Pantera. Like Pantera, Anti-Mortem's riffs are front and center, and the grooves are pretty much unrelenting.
"Words of Wisdom" kicks off New Southern with those brutal guitars, and singer Larado Romo growling, "I was told my whole life 'don't do this, don't do that'/Force your opinion on me like it was fact." Perfect start to a rebellious metal record. I love the lyrics:
The title track follows. It starts with a softer intro, then brings a really strong PUNCH as it gets going. The chorus is downright bluesy. "New Southern" includes a nice little lyrical gem in the second verse that I really dig: "Lost my head on the way to get help/With the hand that I dealt myself."
"100% Pure American Rage" follows. The video for this anthem is really cool. There's a bit of a "Jeremy" feel, but it ends very differently. It would also be terrible of me to not point out the awesome solos:
In the middle you'll find the relentless jack-hammer of a song "Hate Automatic," The very fun, defiant "I Get Along With the Devil," and another unstoppable, fist-in-the-air tune "Ride of your life." I rock the eff out to these songs in the car like there's no tomorrow. If you have seen me around Springfield in the past week, you've probably had a laugh.
As intense as the album is, there are a couple songs on New Southern that I think could be rock radio hits. "Black Heartbeat" would fit right in with its slower pace and jilted lover theme. "Path to Pain" has a calmer vibe as well, and a cool lyric hook in "kicking rocks on the path to pain." "Wake Up" is a good anti-authority, anti-power tune that I think would really resonate with people, considering some things happening in the world right now.
"Stagnant Water" is such a killer song. It might be my favorite on New Southern. It's an epic, stomp-y, creepy, chugging track. That guitar after the line "at the right hand of God...is a gun" hits you right in the gut. "Stagnant Water" also features a delightfully southern rock-tinged solo. Behold:
"Truck Stop Special" brings a well-told story of desperation and a rolling guitar riff. This one is just good rock and roll:
Another badass tale follows with "Jonesboro." And the bonus track "A Little Too Loose" makes buying this album worth it. It is a blues song in every way--except the distorted guitars...and that combo totally works. News flash: I just discovered this is a cover of a Mr. Big song. Never stop learning, kids. Especially about rock 'n roll.
I am completely addicted to New Southern, and I'm not looking to go to rock rehab for my problem anytime soon. I've been playing it constantly, and I hear something new each time I listen. A killer riff I hadn't noticed (there are plenty of them!)...the way a certain lines are sung: punchy and passionate and angry, but never out of control...the hints of blues and southern rock in the fun guitar solos.
If you are looking to end your summer with some serious metal fun--listen to Cool Aunt Carrie and getcha some New Southern.