Scotland is a pretty rock and roll kind of place. It’s not for no reason that Status Quo chose to record their celebrated live album in Glasgow…they know that the Scots love to kick arse!!!
That’s where Bacchus Baracus come in…they too love to kick arse!!! Right from the opening of track one “Yo Wanna Deal” it’s clear that raw, unrefined rock and roll is clearly the order of the day. There are no flashy pyrotechnics on display, just simple, razor sharp riffs and vocals that have been stripped raw by years of abuse by booze and fags!!! The overall effect is of a headlong collision between punk and stoner rock with a dude singing that makes Rose Tattoo’s Angry Anderson sound like a vicar!!! “Both “Memo” and “Man Of The North” bring a level of Clutch-esque groove to the table and add some layer of subtlety but it’s still akin to having your face pummelled by a drunk in some grotty back alley.
“Mammoth” features an instant and arguably classic chorus that is matched in its sing along appeal by its sheers dumbness…and the best rock and roll is often pretty dumb let’s face it!!! If you’re not getting your groove on, raising a beer and shouting along then you’re probably Stephen Hawking!!! After the flesh ripping opening track, as the album progresses it does become clear that the band are somewhat in thrall to the mighty Clutch and keen to preserve a similar blue collar, heavily grooved bluesy style of stoner rock and roll. As more and more bands seem to veer towards doom and sludge it’s good to hear a band keeping it simple and old school and while this album falls a way behind Clutch’s latest effort “Earth Rocker”, it’s still a pretty damn fine effort and it’s good to hear this style produced so convincingly and effectively from a home grown band.
Convincing is probably the key word here. While the influences are clear, unlike some other bands Bacchus Baracus have claimed a small corner table as their own and defend it from accusations of pure copying. This is in small part to the vocals but also to the acid sharp production which adds a vicious edge to the guitar tones and creates a greater sense of overall malevolence. The BB guys play from the gut with a raw passion and level of conviction that hints at some sort of punk rock past lurking underneath the stoner grooves…and most rock and roll does sound a little better with some punk dirt under its fingernails. In this case stoner rock is less a term of herbal recreation and more a primitive form of execution!!!
Bacchus Baracus are unlikely to be crowned the kings of rock and roll any time soon but this album certainly does the job of planting a foot firmly in the door whilst grabbing you by the scruff of the neck and forcibly attempting to pull you through the gap!!!
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall