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Ironweed | Indian Ladder | review | rock | Lollipop


Indian Ladder (Small Stone)
By Craig Regala

Ye olde metalized hard rockisms jerked through a framework of alternative what-not yielding a tense mid-tempo kinda surly dirt-under-the-nails update on Faith No More/Soundgardens/Danzig "rocker" moments. Now, this isn't to say these guys cribbed notes from them'uns but probably spun a lotta the same discs and thought a lotta the same thoughts regardless of the year they were birthed. Could say the same about Solace, no insult - it's just a handy compare 'n' contrast. Don't blame Soundgarden et. el. for having the talent, luck, ability, and patience to drive a shovel deep enough to hit platinum. Better them'uns than not, eh?

So, Ironweed riff it up and down in a way the small and the tall of the past 35 years would tag as good metal. Coming from a label that sat in the "alt.rocker" not "metal" bleachers during the '80s, such a move is interesting and appropriate, especially since they're slated to launch a Solace CD sometime this year. Ironweed (I assume the band's named after the book) are metal in an elastic enough way to bump uglys with the stable of psych/stoner/hard/kick-ass/Kraut/blues/alt.ROCK bands Small Stone's heaved at us this century.

Heck, one of the guys guitaring here was in the fantastic Great Day For Up (GDFU, perhaps a wise-acre take on the Korean war-era military acronym, G.D.F.U. = God Damn Fuck Up?) from the get-go, and a couple tooled in their last incarnation. It shows now and again in the chomp and grrr! abstracted from riffs/melodies thought up while listening to Thin Lizzy and punched through SST-era Bad Brains and the Black Flag and Sabbath. Good move, and current enough sounding that you can shuffle'm with say, Evergreen Terrace on one side and Intronaut on the other and your nephew won't crash the boat. Motörhead song they should cover: "Don't Let'm Grind Ya Down." Pantera tune they coulda done for The O.C., "Where You Come From." As long as we're doin' covers here, how about Mindfunk's "Zootiehead"?


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