Tend No Wounds: Black Tusk Keep it Meh on New EP
Let’s talk for a moment about party metal. The riotous, get-you-up-on-your-feet-and-moving sub-genre of heavy music that induces copius amounts of shots and occasionally (+ideally), tits flying everywhere. Back in the 80s, Hair Metal was all about the excessive sex-drugs-and-rock-n-roll party, and testosterone was rampant (even if most of the dudes in the big bands at the time dolled themselves up to look like chicks).
Nowadays, the creepy uncles of the metal party are just plain old and the younger generation of crowd-rilers and binge-drinkers keep the party going aplenty, but obviously certain bands (and frontmen) take the musicianship to the next level while retaining that “fuckit let’s fuckin fuck/drink/smoke/RAGE” attitude. Black Tusk are not one of those bands.
To be fair, they don’t really sell themselves as a Party Metal band, but it seems they don’t really fit into the sludge-prog category they get lumped into most often either — while there are similar elements, BT can’t hold a candle to the skills of fellow Southern outfits such as Mastodon, Baroness, or even Kylesa. My initial attempted inclusion of BT into the Party Metal world isn’t out of nowhere though; the band just wrapped up a nice tour with Cancer Bats and everyone’s (well, almost everyone) favorite Party Metal band of the moment, Norwegian fiesta-mongers Kvelertak.
Although Black Tusk made sense on the bill, they are just a bit too bland for my taste. And unfortunately you don’t get much more on this recording — it’s simple, straightforward, and scuzzy. Clearly the world need basic bashers, and BT isn’t terrible in the least… there’s a time and a place for it, I suppose, but for me it’s in the background and at a low volume. Here’s hoping BT ups their game and breaks the meh-mold next time around.
Black Tusk’s Tend No Wounds comes out July 23 on Relapse. You can pre-order it here.