It’s still spring, but goddamn if this past week hasn’t felt like summer time in New England. The sun’s blazing, the air is heavy and humid, and I couldn’t have picked a better album to blast as I dashed along a few friendly Essex County back roads.
Their name is WO FAT, the album is “Noche del Chupacabra,” and it’s a Texas-sized offering of exemplary fuzzed-out, hard-hitting psychedelic Stoner Metal/Rock that is prime warm weather cruising material. Whether you’re throwing horseshoes in the backyard and grilling up dogs, or chilling lakeside with a couple brews and a little pot, do yourself a favor by adding some sun, turning up the volume, and nodding that head to some seriously sweet and groove-laden melodies that exude a care-free attitude cooked medium-well.
At just five songs in length, WO FAT’s third full-length is like the perfect party guest. The dude shows up with a keg of Belgian white, a full platter of chicken wings – buffalo and teriyaki flavor – and even though he keeps blowing bong hits in your dog’s face, the guy is just all good vibes and he doesn’t overstay his welcome. The dude sticks around for 45 minutes and jets. What a man.
Album opener “Bayou Juju” starts this bottom-heavy, Southern groove-fest with a mid-paced airboat ride through a swamp riddled with smiling gators and floating cranes. When Tim Wilson’s bass isn’t throwing bumping, rolling licks at you, the guitar work by Kent Stump is whirring in and out like an electric mosquito swarm. The catchiest tune on the album, “Common Ground,” is a sure-fire foot-stomper with a chorus so bluesy even the bullfrogs are shaking their heartbroken heads. The muddiest marathon is the album-titled 15-minute closer, “Noche del Chupacabra,” a true fen monster of a recording that builds with Michael Walter’s smoky percussion rhythms and the floodwater sounds of Stump and Wilson. This instrumental underwater behemoth jams all the way home and back and concludes this LP in the mire of warm Doom-swept Rock.
Bringing to mind the undying riffs of BLACK SABBATH, the hugeness of SLEEP, and the soul of a Blues great like JOHN LEE HOOKER, WO FAT’s latest is one of the year’s tastiest and heaviest plates of road-kill. So wade on in, submerge deep in that brown Mississippi water, and pull out “Noche del Chupacabra,” a goliath in the river of Stoner/Doom noodling.
(Online June 2, 2011)