Yellowtooth - Crushed By The Wheels Of Progress - (5.5/10)
Published on March 23, 2016
Certainly, while this can be said about most every genre of metal, it seems that lately the doom/sludge seen has seen an incredible influx of bands releasing albums and getting eyes and ears on them. The last decade or so have seen a lot of critical acclaim come to the doom genre and even heavyweights of the sound releasing new material and still showing their prowess. However, much like any thing else, when you get such a wide array of acts within one niche, there’s bound to be good and bad. Towing the line a little above the middle mark is Yellowtooth, out of Michigan City, Indiana. Forming in 2008, and releasing their albums via bass/vocalist Peter Clemens’ Orchestrated Misery Recordings, the trio’s second release, Crushed By The Wheels Of Progress hit the scene in 2015. The recording is pretty straightforward slab of Southern inspired doom and sludge, with all the riffs and stoner attitude you could expect, but sadly falls short of being too memorable or making any real impact.
The musicianship in the Yellowtooth camp is not without merit, as these three are more than capable behind their chosen instrument. However, the overall songwriting just comes off as lacking. There are riffs aplenty and you can easily see yourself grooving out and rocking along under the influence of different substances yet there is little that really separates itself from anything else on the album or even in the genre as a whole. The riffs feel as if they have been done before, and the vocals are very monotonous in their delivery. The deeper bark is one all too familiar within this approach to metal, which is not bad in and of itself, but there is a distinct absence of any real character or emotion. That being said, the third track on Wheels actually does feature an overall slower build (the ballad of the album basically) and does allow the band to explore the use of clean vocals which hit the mark a lot more. It lends itself as being the most impressive of the eight songs on the record. Just a shame it comes too early on in the album.
Not everything is exactly bad though. Again, the musicianship is solid, if unremarkable, and the production is clear and quite nice. There is a good tone to the guitar and thickness on the bass. Since the basis of the band’s method is going to be based about riffs, these near 47 minute are dense with riffs and solos. The guitar is the highlight of the album, but that does not take away from the feeling of deja vu when you listen. The solos are kept fairly short and tasteful in that they do they best to enhance and go along with the song at hand and not take away any focus which is commendable.
Crushed By The Wheels Of Progress had a feeling of being on the verge of something. There were some undeniable moments of groove, and the three men in the project are no slouches behind their chosen instruments. The lacking songwriting and just ho-hum feeling the entire album gives off though leaves a lot to be desired and sadly brings this album down quite a bit. Feel free to spark a bowl and zone out for a while, but you’ll more than likely find yourself needing something else to fill your smoke filled brain sooner than later.