Music Reviews

Beaten Back to Pure

The Last Refuge of the Sons of Bitches


Beaten Back to Pure are in a really fucking good position with the release of The Last Refuge of the Sons of Bitches. Not only are they an excellent, raw doom outfit, but they’ve also got the added caveats of rapidly evolving musical abilities, roadhouse country influences and a total superstar in the form of warthog-tonsilled screamer Boss Hogg. So they’ll snag the edgier O Brother, Where Art Thou stragglers, and the insomniac metalheads. Man, this is good shit.

Opener “The Last Refuge of the Sons of Bitches” begins with a pounding slowcore riff, with frontman Boss Hogg vomiting phlegm and despair, but halfway through, it dissolves into a beautiful, countrified dirge of mammoth bleakness. THIS is real doom, complete with guitar solos that sound like hearts rending and wounds bleeding. “Wheels Coming Off” is a killer Big Daddy Roth guitar riff, completed by Hogg’s human wendigo vocals. His delivery is so guttural and bowel-wrenching that even death metal vocalists must say, “hey man, you’re making us look bad here.” Imagine Will Rahmer from Mortician crossed with Layne Staley. “Shards of Mason Jars” is just a towering lament, with each note seemingly trapped in time like a ruined gothic masterpiece, before fuzzing to life as a lethal jacked-up boogie. You’ve no idea.

“Paleface” boasts a surprising acoustic intro that reverts to pounding Soundgarden-esque riffery. THESE are big choruses. “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny” is an fucking mean, gas-huffing instrumental track that slides on like a locomotive, and has a fucking awesome title sentiment to boot. “Double Barrel Blasphemy” begins like a Willie Nelson/Alice In Chains hybrid and then does a Mr. Hyde act into grinding gunpowder and broken lightbulb hell. The jarring changes are so visceral, building even stronger links between Beaten Back to Pure’s desperate pillars of roarrr and the darker strains of backwoods country. There’s a lineage being established here.

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