Fifty Tons of Black Terror

Fifty Tons of Black Terror

My Idle Hands

Beggars Banquet

If there ever was an album cover more telltale of a band’s sonic approach, Fifty Tons of Black Terror’s My Idle Hands would be it: a bloodied hand holding what appears to be a glass of Scotch. Maybe it’s all the press the British band has been getting about its overtly drunken squall, but there’s more than an element of truth here. During the past few years, 50 Tons have been mainlining the long-lost demonic, decadent nature of rock n’ roll into its feeble corpse, dumping the whole stinkin’ mess back into the gutter, and calling it a recording career.

And, thus far, what a career it’s turning out to be. The quartet’s debut album, the thoroughly jaw-dropping Demeter, deliberately stumbled between acidic slug’s ooze and frenetic, barroom-brawlin’ guitar skree, but predominantly the latter. However, on their latest one, My Idle Hands, 50 Tons (Penthouse in the UK) mostly stick to the ooze, lurching around here and there with an intoxicated, fuzzed-out abandon, the ripest setting for vocalist Charlie Finke to ramble through the Valley of the Sows and hoot, holler, and harangue about giant haystacks, little brown kisses, and the pool at Blood Gulley. Just as harrowing (if not more so) than the debut, My Idle Hands suitably gives rise to the band’s black-as-night humor, its red light district stroll is the ideal pace for the whole shambling affair to become one giant carnival bizarre, sans the Anton Lavey-ian organs.

Though not quite the initial stun the first album was, if only because it came from a UK band, My Idle Hands displays a gallery of rogues fully aware of what their aural decadence is and where it can go. Above all, it’s an album that requires sipping, more time to down than the previous double shot of fire, but once swallowed, an album capable of corroding any righteous good left in the soul.

Beggars Banquet, 580 Broadway, Suite 1004, New York, NY 10012; http://www.beggars.com

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