Album Review: ACID PRIEST Drop Out
Riffy, psychedelic and just a tad over the top, these are the things we look for when we listen to stoner rock. It's rare that you find bands in this genre that really reflect the ideals it's built on in a way that isn't silly or inherently shit. Fortunately for Acid Priest, the second the eerie Hammond Organ kicks in on the first real track, "WarWagon," it becomes clear that these guys are more than the sum of their parts and a fair step ahead of many of their peers.
While they face many of the limitations of a younger band especially with regards to the mix perhaps not being where I would want it to be and the vocal style still finding its place in the music, as a whole, their debut EP, Drop Out is a wild rock and roll ride that will keep you holding on by the seat of your pants. Stoner rock is a wonderfully strange genre at times, and Acid Priest knows how to embrace it in all of its pot-infused glory.
What gets me about Acid Priest is the sensibilities of guitarist Zakk Mild. His melodic playing and strong songwriting have always driven his bands forward, but here, in particular, it feels like he has honed something special. There are moments of true instrumental brilliance, crescendos that spiral off into space and then suddenly crashes. It can't help but shock and impress. While I said before I am not sold on the vocals, they certainly have their place. There are moments on this record where the vocals are actually a huge boon. Perhaps the most notable example of this in on the track "The King Tide" where the controlled chaos only serves to heighten the sonic adventure.
Meanwhile, the explorations into clean vocals on tracks like "Let Go" suggest that there is a lot more to this band than might initially meet the eye and that with a little development they could turn into veritable juggernauts. The crazed soloing and potent bass playing in conjunction with the maniacal half shrieked vocals quite frankly rides the line of madness. You feel the band about to fall apart, but that's what makes Drop Out so addictive.
There is clearly a whole boatload of potential in what Acid Priest are doing here. The chunky guitar playing is a highlight to be sure but it does not dominate the music and become a bane. Instead, we see Acid Priest as veritable titans in the making. There is clearly a whole boatload of potential here and I am very curious to see where they go with this. The ominous vibes and pure fun of the music are thrilling and hint that this band could continue to expand essentially ad infinitum. In a crowded stoner rock scene of jaded bands and bored fans, it's exciting to find something that breaks the rules. Sure they are bursting at the seams here and there, but isn't that part of the fun of discovering a new band in the first place?