Through the Woods into Deep Water
Fat and Holy Records CD/LP
I am a huge fan of Wight’s debut album, Wight Weedy Wight so I’ve been eagerly awaiting their follow-up release for some time. A stopgap split 12” with Stone Axe was enjoyable (though hardly essential) but here they have delivered the mother lode – a 60 minute album stuffed full with music ideas and some departures from the crushing stoner-doom of their debut.
Opener ‘Kiss your Friends Goodbye’ kicks things off in fine fashion – a Sleep-style slo-mo super sustain monster that more than matches the songs on their debut. Next up is ‘I Spit On Your Grave’ in which the bands add sludgy tones to their palette and again execute well. From here on are the first few mis-steps – ‘Southern Comfort and Northern Lights’ hasn’t quite enough ideas to make it through eleven minutes though the sax solo is a very nice surprise. ‘Master of Nuggets’ incorporates some heavy jazz playing into their repertoire, which doesn’t quite gel for me. ‘You’ is a raunchy hard-rock number that seems to acknowledge it own lack of subtlety with the Spinal Tap quote that prefaces it.
The back end of the album, however, is particularly strong – Big Dose’ is a heavy somnambulant instrumental and the penultimate track ‘On a Friday’ has a superb central riff and propulsion, though unfortunately lasts for just three minutes. Closing off the album is the enormously heavy instrumental title track, which again showcases the band at their titan-like best.
At it’s best this album really is stunning – its finest moments up there with any of the best stoner albums of the last few years. However, at 60 minutes it’s slightly overlong and perhaps overburdened with too many ideas and a lack of cohesion. On a positive note, on at least six of the nine tracks they annihilate the competition with massive arrangements and memorable riffs and choruses. Stick with them and they’ll one day reward us with a stone-cold classic.