As if to justify their already-badass name, North Philly psych-doom quintet Grave Bathers have acquired an actual funeral parlour as an HQ in which to house their vast cityscape of Orange stacks. And from the moment Feathered Serpent kicks in it’s obvious that the funeral parlour is open for business.
Epic riffs, piercing Robert Plant vocals, tales of outlaws and bloodshed, all above some truly gorgeous bass work. Feathered Serpent is a slick yet psychedelic affair, switching from a stoned opening motif to a furious blues jam and back again with all the slithering grace of, well, a feathered serpent.
Death Hand opens with an unsettling, near-discordant drone, before we are dropped fizzing and fuzzing into yet another ball-busting riff. Again, the band cuts loose into a psychedelic jam, this time beneath relentless flanger sweeps and whinnying, whammying lead attacks that build to a frantic climax before crash landing in a pit of groaning reverb.
Feathered Serpent is a slick yet psychedelic affair, switching from a stoned opening motif to a furious blues jam and back again with all the slithering grace of, well, a feathered serpent…
Grave Bathers are truly accomplished and, whilst they aren’t bringing anything you haven’t heard before, it’s hard to be original when you’re pushing for 70s nostalgia. Still, the hardest thing for me to get on board with is their sleaze ‘n’ roll image: white boots, Flying Vs, head bands, moustaches, fishnet body-suits (!) and other rock and roll clichés abound (I’m not actually sure that fishnet body suits are a rock ‘n’ roll cliché but they damn well should be).
And whilst I’m sure such theatrics bring something to the live experience, they evoke more than a touch of novelty and, much worse, hipster irony, making it hard for me to take them as seriously as similar acts such as Uncle Acid and Green Lung. With statements like ‘we all drop acid and worship the devil’, it’s clear they don’t take themselves too seriously either. And maybe they should.
Enough said. I’m off to buy me a fishnet body suit. And a Flying V.
Scribed by: Fossil