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Halfway To Gone | High Five | review | stoner | rock | Lollipop

Halfway To Gone

High Five (Small Stone)
by Brian Varney

I was pretty excited to get this, what with having my ass kicked by the two songs on last year's split CD with Alabama Thunderpussy combined with the fact that, lately anyway, practically anything bearing the Small Stone imprint is damn near guaranteed to be rock of the finest quality.

And rock it does. Formed by the departed lead singer of NJ's Solarized, Halfway to Gone are a brutal, more concise deployment of many of the same rockist elements which drove that roving band of freaks. Almost all that outfit's psychedelia has been drained away, but the huge, fuzzy guitars remain. There's a Southern twang to High Five that I don't remember hearing on Solarized's stuff, but that's not to say that I mind. Indeed, the Southern air fits snugly over this stuff like a nice pair of worn-in shitkicker boots. With spurs.

Though they're only a trio, Halfway to Gone's sound is rock-solid and covered in a healthy layer of grime and sweat. Lee Stuart's guitar sound is almost comically huge, and singer/bassist Lou Gorra and drummer Chuck Dukehart shovel enough coal to keep the engine room spewing fire. Think huge, gritty riffage, but not metal and not another Kyuss-wannabe. Plop a non-ironic Southern sensibility on top and Black Flag's rhythm section behind 'em, and that's a pretty good picture of Halfway to Gone's sound. I haven't really paid attention to the lyrics, but if the song titles are any indication, Halfway to Gone write songs about the important things in life: Fire, drinking, violence, and Ronnie Van Zant.

This stuff sounds like it'd be great live so bring some earplugs, plenty of beer money, and don't wear anything nice because you'll probably come home dirty.
(PO Box 007 Detroit, MI 48202)


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