Veteran Chicago rockers will remember the furious licks of RODEO, a heavy 4-piece dedicated to not giving a shit about your dumb, wimpy, hipster music. But now all you slack-jawed metalheads can rejoice, because 3/4ths of the members have released new music under the name Spaced Mountain, and the self-titled three song EP does not disappoint. Members of the band have also been involved with other fantastic Chicago acts such as Bleach Party and Percolator (RIP), so you know there’s a variety of experiences contained within the tracks that extend beyond the very metal surface appeal.
The first track, “Bubblegum Rosy,” is reminiscent of then-intense 60’s rockers like Nazareth and Deep Purple, but with definite overtones of sludgy 90’s guitar based bands. If the “Mississipi Queen” from the famous song of the same name was a meth-head, this would be her anthem. You can hear a little bit of Sleater Kinney in the textural compositions; there’s no bass guitar anywhere on the album, but smart production and guitar composition provides enough lows to fill out the bottom end.
“Storm Before the Dead” sounds like it could be an early track from The Sword, matching heavy riffs to minimal vocal hooks with a healthy smattering of down-tuned distortion. If you could smell a band through your computer speakers, you’d almost certainly detect the delectable aroma of overheating tubes and sweaty dudes flicking sweat with each heavy bob of their heads.
The short EP closes with “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?,” a track with complicated dueling guitars overlaid with the nihilistic vocals that made Rodeo such a fan favorite. This song was actually written during the sessions which produced Mild Annoyance, a pivotal album for Rodeo, and feels like the flagship song of the new outfit. The reboot is heavy and covered in sludge, but with a tempo that suggests there’s more to life than doom metal. Think Napalm Death on downers or maybe Led Zeppelin playing over a snuff film.
Overall, if you’re a fan of heavy, this album is for you. Go start a dumpster fire, and give it a spin!
(Disclaimer: MWA does not endorse starting dumpster fires. Please don’t start a dumpster fire.)