Look man, adrenaline junkie shtick's fine for vapid hacks surfing vapor trails to nowhere. Me, I dig a grimy rut slicked with oily mope. It's right there, points the skeletal digit, hand hallucinating over a shaky ticker, ears flapping as yours truly breezes wearily through discarded puns on the band's name and/or the Cretaceous. Eureka, that signifies old, and lo, a couple more greys than yesterday.
So what? As we learned last time out, "maturing" is for musical halfwits, but aging fully graced, a magically different ballad. Once upon an Angus: "I'm sick and tired of people saying that we put out 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we've put out 12 albums that sound exactly the same." Here, a stretch, but it's new Alice, they've been at it since before my kids were born and so know what the fuck they're doing, the unbreakable Motörhead of mood metal.
Don't get naming the entire album after the sole "topical" track, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here for the under-a-rock adjacent, but everyone's brainwaves are different. Song's certainly eerie, though, though Hung on a Hook, whoa, Layne or no, see despondency through a glass, darkly. Funny how Chuck Woolery infernos used to blast open proceedings, but a deep (ten of twelve tracks clocking over five minutes) Hollow has good n' plenty of a sticky, bendy gait, defiantly smacking away one of the album's few flaws, namely that a speedy, let 'er rip once in a full moon would be keen.
Contradicting myself, brick wall drones are wheelhoused, but second single Stone hasn't stuck yet (neither had Lab Monkey, which I already like thrice more than Monday), but the Jar of Flies-worthy Voices, lordy, 'tis No Excuses horizontal harmonizing with a daydream haze, birthing their love child. Opposite, 99 44/100% pure facelifting with the chromatic, rambling, ergo self-titled-ish Phantom Limb, and har ye har ye, new guy getting more turns at the mic this time around beyond righteous and mandatory two-parts.
We all wanna tap our foot, crack open our skulls on the stage, feast on the goo inside. It's why pop craft welded to brontosaurs riffs makes overcast barbs like Low Ceiling soar, whilst Scalpel is cut primarily out of the former, a chorus of pure fucking ear candy. Being either moody or cranky or both, this stomper of a record, peppered with singer-songwriter longhair jams once strung out so lovely in Cantrell's solo oeuvre, perhaps less black and more grey, riffs that once lopped off bloody chunks now grinding gobs of weathered flesh instead, still guards the sound of a cold, rainy day. Like today! (sadly, not that cold) Brings an invisible ink smile to my face.