Sunday, July 5, 2009

WINO: Punctuated Equilibrium LP/10"

Label: Southernlord Records SUNN99
Release Date: January 26, 2009/ vinyl summer 2009
Side A
Release Me 6:30
Punctuated Equilibrium 2:50
The Woman In The Orange Pants 3:33
Smilin Road 5:10
Eyes of The Flesh 4:14

Side B:
Wild Blue Yonder 6:26
Secret Realm Devotion 4:52
Water Crane 2:02
Gods, Frauds, Neo-Cons and Demagogues 3:12
Silver Lining 4:24

bonus 10"
Side A
Chest Fever4:33
Der Gift (The Poison) 2:44

Side B
The Comet And The Moon 4:45
On The (Sacrificial) Lamb 2:20

One of my favorite records of 2009 given THEE supreme vinyl treatment. Scott "WINO" Weinrich is definitely is a legend of underground rock, He has been called "The Godfather of Doom Metal", "America's Lemmy" and "Guitar Worlds' 64th Greatest Metal Guitar Player of All Time". That should be good enough for a short bio. Punctuated Equilibrium is Wino's first solo effort in nearly 30 years of playing Power Fucking Trio, Biker Doom, Stoner Van Jams, Heavy Metal Spirit Rock, Whatever you call it, we all should have started paying attention in the 1980s. This LP with bonus 10" EP is signature WINO songwriting; a blend of Black Sabbath, Grand Funk, Metal Punk and lead guitar ripping that makes Frank Zappa smile from beyond. If you don't dig guitar solos then I'm sorry, maybe you should try some WINO. On this album WINO is joined by drummer Jean-Paul Gaster and John Blank on bass. Needless to say these guys are top notch players and I'm sure they were stoked to play on this record because It wouldn't be as good without them. The first cut sets the tone, This is where I open my sunroof because "Release Me" has less gloom and doom than I expect from WINO. Spirit Metal for sure! The second (title) track is thrashy metal punk that shows WINO's other side, The side of a dude who saw VOID and SSD on acid. "The Woman in the Orange Pants" is the first instrumental on the album and it is similar to the super heavy prog moments of WINO's last band THE HIDDEN HAND. "Smilin Road" could easily be off MOUNTAIN's Greatest Hits, and I mean that in the best way possible. On this track I noticed how great of a drummer J.P. Gaster is. He Smokes! The last song on side one "Eyes of the Flesh" has that unmistakable WINO DOOOOOM vibe, sick wah leads that nod to SAINT VITUS. Side two kicks off with a song that sounds like WINO jamming with the rythym section of FUGAZI and getting the DUB treatment. "Secret Realm Devotion" is a 70s style burner with a cool dumptruck low end wah wah riff. "Gods, Frauds and Neo-Cons" is another heavy proggy jammer with good lyrics about war and deception ala MC5. The verse at the end of song segues into the last cut "Silver Lining" a positive but heavy WINO vibe permeating the verse, culminating in a solo guitar freak out. Since the vinyl version comes with a bonus 10" ill be reviewing it too. Side C starts with a THREE DOG NIGHT cover which is really good and has some cool keyboard hooks. Der Gift is a short Prog jam with a bunch of otherwordly guitar sounds. "The Comet and the Moon" is a kinda poppy 70s rock song dedicated to his wife. Lets see you do that, tough guy. The 10" closes out with another Soulful Riffer that has a little southern rock feel. So when does the next one come out already??

The artwork and packaging for "Punctuated Equilibrium" are fantastic. It comes with lyrics and liner notes where WINO lays down some heavy wisdom. The 10" actually has its own pocket on the inside of the gatefold. The vinyl is forest green swirled and it looks great with the full color record labels. Its really cool to see Southern Lord records give the best treatment to this recording, Good job robed hessians.

Sadly, bass player Jon Blank passed away soon after the release of this record, R.I.P.

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