Sound: This band, according to themselves, was created simply to piss people off. Apparantly they also wanted to do what EyeHateGod was doing, but on a whole different scale. Knowing the envelope they were pushing, half of the band didn't take their work very seriously and were against gaining any popularity, or any positive remarks, for that matter.
Because of this, the band wasn't even trying that hard on this record, yet, somehow it manages to be astounding, especially on first listen. Although primarily a sludge band, this could be descibed safely as some of the angriest Sabbath worship around. In addition to influence, Iron Monkey took what made EHG great, took crack with thier marijuana, and basically jumped headfirst into a swamp. I guess that would be a decent metaphorical description.
Anyways, the overall sound of the record is punishing, altough drugged and lazy at certain points. The opening riff to "Fink Dial" is tremendous, as are other memorable dirges throughout here - I find it difficult to call it lacking. While it would seem to lack variety, don't make that fatal mistake. Each of the six songs are easily recognisable in thier own right and structure off in interesting ways, albeit the general drone of most sludge bands.
As I mentioned the riffs themeselves; heavy, gigantic riffs? Yup. I hope you like them, cause this recording is crammed full of 'em. The bass is usually masked thoughout the songs except in a few intervals. Not to say the drumming was terrible, but it too, was masked; by itself actually. The drumming was pretty general and not upbeat, but Greaves would make mountains of progress in his later work. Arguably, the band's secret weapon and defining moment is the singer, the imfamous John Paul Morrow - the master of the terrifying demon scream. With all of this in mind, think of the madness contained in the album if you've never listened to it.
Overall, it's not as innovative as say, The Melvins, but the force of this album is admirable and to be reckoned with. // 8
Lyrics: As I mentioned before, John Morrow is an insane vocalist, literally appearing out of nowhere in the UK's underground and releasing some of the fiercest shrieks and bellows known to man from the deepest chasms of his lungs. I hope most know how hard it is to emulate him, it's ridiculous and astounding what this guy managed to do. As angry as he sounds on this particular release, he'll be back and ready for more on thier sophmore album, "Our Problem".
The lyrics as first appear to be nothing more than random banter and nonsense filled with various curse words. But, on some examination, you might find some interesting analogies. "Big Loader" appears to be some deprived tale of experimentation on a pack of animals, and "Black Aspirin" is a bounce-fest with lyrics of said substance use. Simple, yes, but definitely interesting.
This band is full of suprises. Don't take them for granted or judge them on first glance. Lyrics, music, whatever. // 9
Overall Impression: This sludge bomb of submission can easily compete with the big boys of the genre. Personally, I feel it outperforms EyeHateGod; it's just improving on what they did. Don't get me started on thier next album, since it improves on just about everything on this LP. Arguably, the titans of this album are the monolith-like "666 Pack" and the super climatic "Shrimp Fist", but the other four songs are easily just as praisable.
While the whole album is another mountain that every sludge or stoner fan should try to scale, it is by far anything that could be tagged as universal. Iron Monkey appeals to a small window of people, and even smaller when talking about this record rather than thier future albums.
Simply put, it is difficult to argue with the crude but intense wall of sound that can threatens to drive you into submission. There are no extreme detriments that cannot be overlooked. // 8