Drug abuse. Prison sentences. Natural disasters. Anything and everything that a band can go through in their well documented 25 year history, Eyehategod has certainly experienced and then some. With 14 years between the release of the self-titled, latest album and it’s predecessor the band has certainly had time to stew and conjure some of the tightest, most well written material they have ever presented to date.
No, this album does not rival the legendary releases of Dopesick or Take As Needed For Pain. But it does see the band more energetic and rejuvenated than they’ve been in some of their past material. Eyehategod also serves as the last recorded material from the band’s recently deceased drummer, Joey LaCaze.
As for the music contained within these eleven songs are concerned, what we’ve got here is a mix of scathing gutter punk mayhem and a bong full of some seriously nasty New Orleans swamp water that hasn’t been cleaned out in quite some time. There’s a whole lot of vitriol throughout the album that is balanced by the bluesy, sludgy doom the band is notorious for creating. A prime example would be the one-two punch of the spitting album opener “Agitation! Propoganda!” and the southern-fried doomy sludge of “Trying to Crack the Hard Dollar.”
Eyehategod mix and match the flow the album wonderfully, lurching along with catchy-as-fuck riffage (courtesy guitarists Jimmy Bower and Brian Patton) one moment before descending into punk-driven aggression fueled by LaCaze’s rampant drum work and the thundering bass of Gary Mader. From start to finish, that renewed sense of energy can be found, seething beneath the surface, pushing the album along at a brisk clip. Toss in Mike IX Williams’ lyrics and raspy, slurred snarl and you’ve got yourself one fucking hell of an album.
Each song on Eyehategod is excellent, but a few stand out from the bunch. The chugging, head snapping riffage of “Quitter’s Offensive” makes it a killer track for my own personal liking. “Parish Motel Sickness” has a monstrous riff that dominates it’s entirety easily making it one of the better songs on the release. “Worthless Rescue” is about as slick as the band ever been even while still lurching and jumping all over the place it’s still sludgy, but feels exceedingly tight (in a good way). “Framed to the Wall” is a gnarly blast of punk-infused mayhem that I can’t help but love.
Twenty five years is a long time and this album feels as though it’s been an even longer time coming. But now that Eyehategod is here, we can all sleep more soundly, right? Perhaps. But after listening to this latest slab from the New Orleans stalwarts, I’m ready to get into some trouble.