Miserable bastard that I am, it still warms my fucked little heart when I see the glowing critical reception afforded Spirit Caravan, the newest musical vehicle of man/myth/legend Scott “Wino” Weinrich. It’s downright bizarre that after decades of obscurity, muso and rockwrite types are coming outta the woodwork to attest to his love of music, his “realness.” Lordy, he’s gonna be the doom/metal/stoner Bruce Springsteen if we don’t ease up here. Well, shit, if anyone has to be a benchmark of anything, much less underground artistic integrity, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bastard than Wino. He’s served his time, in spades. It’s just kinda funny that he’s spent so much time in thankless service to metal, and it takes some fucker from Fugazi (college rawk) or Dave Grohl (gawk rock) to give him a record deal and a publicity push again.
Oh well, we might as well talk about the record. First off, it’s got some tight, unique production while still holding to the overall parameters of the doom genre. Y’see, Elusive Truth is recorded with rather minimal distortion, reverb, and feedback (the diametrical opposite of, say, the new Warhorse record), and somehow it works! This drier sound gives it a more classical feel (old Sabbath, blah blah) and I can feel the space between the notes a lot more, and I dig that. Makes it more claustrophobic and vacuum-packed. So it’s a relief, of all things, when a mournful cascading guitar solo kicks in, and I get a moment of air between those suffocatingly precise riffs. Wino’s no slacker in the songwriting department either, he’s respectful of the metal without being derivative, and I swear to Gawd that there are tiny little hints of math rock in there. No note is wasted, the economy is shocking. Lyrically, Wino’s dealing in cryptic philosophy with nary a word about dope or witches (hmmm), but the vocals are Jesus Christ heavy and mournful. Gives me chills, man, from Dorian to Marcolin and even Osbourne, DOOM vocalists are THE SHIT! A definite recommendation for immediate purchase, even if a friend of mine did call it Freedom Rock 2001. Well, turn it up, mannnn•
Tolotta Records, PO Box 4412, Arlington, VA 22204; http://www.tolotta.com