All music created and produced by 16. Recorded, engineered, and mixed by Jeff Forrest at Doubletime Studios in San Diego, CA in 2008. All lyrics written by Cris Jerue. Mastered by Scott hull at Visceral Sound. Released on Relapse Records, 2009. Album artwork by Florian Bertmer.
I loved -(16)-‘s first album Curves that Kick (1993), which I described as “a fusion of Helmet, Bleach-era Nirvana, lesser-known San Francisco band Less and even elements of Godflesh.” I had high hopes then for this album and the southern Californian sludgesters haven’t let me down.
I generally know straight away if I’m going to enjoy an album for the week that I give myself to listen to it. I had this album on in my car for at least half of last week and last.fm attests to my having played -(16)- more than the next three bands put together.
What struck me immediately was just how much fuller their sound is on this album compared with their debut album. This is a stickier, sludgier, doomier album. It has the groove and laid back feel of a proper ‘southern’ metal band like Down, or even Clutch, but they haven’t lost touch with their hardcore punk roots either.
While opening track “Throw in the towel” and “Man, interrupted” have a distinctly bluesy, southern groove, just like their debut album many of the songs still carry a Helmet-like vibe to them, for example “Skin and bones”, “Me and my shadow”, and “You let me down (again)”. “Flake” pulls in some definite Godflesh moments.
I’ve had this album on repeat for almost the whole week, so the songs have all merged into one. But it’s definitely a keeper: I’m going to be listening to this album for a long time to come.
Review score: 90%