Released: 2013, Altsphere Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Celebrating “Macho Metal” since 2003, Italy’s Carcharodon are an interesting musical animal. Combining the disparate sounds of death n’ roll, doom, punk, country and blues in a heavy metal crockpot, the band’s sophomore full length ROACHSTOMPER is a unique and shitkickin’ good time.
The closest thing I can compare Carcharodon’s sound to is Entobmed’s WOLVERINE BLUES record, but only if it were remixed by Hank III while listening to Mastodon cover ZZ Top. Thick, wallopy stoner riffs crush in a haze of cannabis smoke, surging forward in a frantic death grind, only to take a sharp left turn into a bluegrass gallop. But the band weaves these diverse tonalities into one another so seamlessly, that it’s nothing short of impressive. All of these different junctions fit together amazingly well, resulting in 11 tracks of creative and well- crafted tunes that are, if nothing else, unquestionably heavy.
The vibe of ROACHTOMPER is steeped in Southern trailer park Americana, tongue planted firmly in cheek. But whether the topical subject matter situates around pig f@#king, booze, or mythical monsters, the band approaches their task with surprising musical dexterity, lending a degree of credibility to what could easily be dismissed as a gag. Tunes like “Pig Squealer”, “Beaumont, TX”, “Adolf Yeti” and “Alaska Pipeline” are particular highlights on an album that’s full of ‘em, as they’re the most technically involved and really exemplify the best of what Carcharodon have to offer.
As off the wall as the band’s musical influences may read on paper, I guarantee you that it in practice it works tremendously well. ROACHSTOMPER has enough going on to please both the purists and the eccentrics, and it’s honestly one of the most original sounding albums I’ve heard in quite some time. And it’s pretty goddam great. ROACHSTOMPER releases in April via Altsphere Production, but check out the band’s Facebook page for more info.