Saturday, March 23, 2013
…This is where the nightmares go: CURSE THE SON – ‘Psychache’
If Connecticut’s Curse the Son flew by undetected with their 2011 debut, ‘Klonopain’, then they should be a giant fucking blip lighting up the radar screen with the release of their newest collection of doped-up doom and gloom—‘Psychache’. While ‘Klonopain’ was a thoroughly enjoyable album from start to finish, ‘Psychache’ is a more refined and focused effort due to the addition of Michael Petrucci on drums and guitarist/vocalist Ron Vanacore’s heightened, more expressive vocal performance. Rather than rely solely on the plod-heavy riffs that defined the debut, Vanacore has injected the six tunes that comprise ‘Psychache’ with a nod-inducing sinister groove that falls somewhere along the spectrum of Black Sabbath’s ‘Master of Reality’ and Iron Man’s ‘I Have Returned’.
The overall production of ‘Psychache’ is dense, heavy, and slightly muddy which suits the band well, especially on album opener “Goodbye Henry Anslinger” a tune that flat-out lays waste to anything the band has previously recorded. The main riff of the opening track is both impossibly thick and catchy. Vanacore’s vocals have come a long way and seemingly soar above the din, particularly during the higher-pitched chorus of “…Anslinger”. The second track, “Spider Stole the Weed”, is mired in the same slurry of fuzzed-out doom as the album opener, but it allows the bass lines of Cheech to breath and accent the song, particularly during the bridge. The title track, “Psychache”, is a pummeling, up-tempo instrumental scorcher that is followed by the brief, ambient indulgence of “Valium For?”. The aptly titled “Somatizator” is a lethargic, lumbering behemoth that grudgingly comes to a halt—pausing briefly for the swirling eddies of noise—before shambling forth again. “Somatizator”, probably more than any other song on the album, equally showcases the talents of all three players. The album closes out with “The Negative Ion”, a tune that would have fit in comfortably among the seven tracks of ‘Klonopain’.
‘Psychache’ is a vast improvement over Curse the Son’s debut—an album that was good to begin with. The riffs are heavier, thicker, and more memorable while pushing further into druggy psychedelia. The addition of Petrucci behind the kit has given the band new life and added depth. The biggest complaint that can be leveled against ‘Psychache’ is that it’s too short—it comes on strong, peaks too soon, and the comedown is way too abrupt.
Words: Steve Miller
(Originally published at Temple of Perdition)