July 17, 2008 | | 4

Harvey Milk, Life... The Best Game In Town

Don’t let the first few minutes of the opening track on Harvey Milk’s fifth release Life… The Best Game In Town fool you. Despite the softer start to the album, the band has plenty sludge and pummel for your ass the rest of the trip. Building on ridiculously thunderous rhythms, Harvey Milk hit hard and heavy with 10 tracks of inventive, technical proficiency that will leave you lapping up the sludge off the floor wanting more.

Guitars belch out static and reverb over top of gurgling riffs and Southern fried hooks. The drumsticks much be made out of lead as they burst through the speakers with devastating force. The combination of the sludgy guitars with the hurricane force rhythms only reinforce the gruff vocals, shoving them forcefully down your gullet.

Death Goes to the Winner
The album’s opener starts off with creepy, pyschodelic harmonized vocals and lightly plucked, clean guitars for a solid minute and a half. The 1:38 point on the track marks the entrance of stoner, southern fueled sludgy riffs and thundering drums. It’s all delivered at a relatively slower pace, but no less bludgeoning. Creston Spiers’ vocals also come in at this point with a gruff, raw delivery. What a hell of a way to open up the album.

Nearly eight minutes after the opening track started, “Decades” comes in with a steady drum beat and thick guitars. It’s definitely got a doomier feel to it as it moves monotonously along like a trudging giant, dragging his massive tree truck club behind him. This song is suffucatingly heavy.

After All I’ve Done For You, This Is How You Repay Me?
I love the opening guitar work and manic drums that gets this next song moving along at a quicker pace. If you don’t sprain your neck in the first 30 seconds banging the hell out to this one, you need to re-evaluate your devotion to metal. Thick, super sludgy guitars come in just as the track hits the two minute mark, slowing the pace down to a crawl. Three and a half minutes later the baddest instrumental I’ve heard in a long time comes to an end.

Skull Socks and Rope Shoes
With crushing riffs Harvey Milk continue the devastation as the vocals come in at the 30 second mark. I love the thick bass that dominates the early portions of this song. There’s a shit load of emotion and torture in the vocal delivery on this one that’s eye opening. The track ends with some slick soloing.

We Destroy the Family
“We Destroy the Family” has a great groove flowing in its sludgy waters. Rolling rhythms and chugging guitars definitely help contribute to it. Quirky, experimental guitars leap from your speakers just before the 2 minute mark. The chorus is catchy as hell.

This next one is an interesting break from the sludgier material from the first half of the album. It’s got inventive guitar work and harmonic vocals, but is also undeniably fun to listen to. There’s just something infectious about it. The lead at the 1:40 mark is nice as well.

A Maelstrom of Bad Decisions
The group picks the pace back up with chugging riffs and rolling rhythms on this next song. The drum work on this one is impressive as hell. The guitars at the 1:12 mark simply kick ass.

“Roses” starts off lightly with soft vocals and even softer guitar plucking. It continues that way for just over a minute before heavy riffs and even heavier drums come in at a funeral dirge pace. The guitar work at the two minute mark is psychodelic, yet evil as hell.

Oh hell yeah! Southern tinged guitars move along with the brisk rhythms as a quicker, higher pitched vocal delivery comes in. This thing is full rock and roll, but with an aggressive and sludgy edge to it. The lead a the 1:10 mark is stellar as it fades in and out of static overfills.

Goodbye Blues
The final track on the album starts with big riffs and thundering bass. It’s slow and devastatingly heavy, but picks up the pace in bursts hear and there. I love the guitars at the 3:50 mark — fucking awesome.

~ ~ ~

Man, I’m pretty sure we have a candidate for album of the year with Life… The Best Game In Town. This album has experimentation, sludge, heaviness, bruising rhythms and so much more. Time to hit play once again on this album.

Favorite Tracks:
All of them

Additional Notes: