"13" (MeteorCity; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The thing I've always like about the unfortunately titled genre of stoner music is how heavy it is. It seems to hearken back to the days of early Black Sabbath, when everything about rock'n'roll was hard, heavy guitars.

Solace is really heavy, too but they're more than stoner music. There are several musical genres at play here. Their sound is a thick, almost sludgy sound that pounds at your ears like a jackhammer. It's great. And, by "sludgy," I don't mean murky or unclear. The production on "13" is crisp and clean and powerful. The rhythm guitars are a strong background, while lead riffs leap out of them unencumbered. The excellent vocals are so clear and well-balanced in the mix that you don't need a lyric sheet to understand what's being said.

Of the 13 tracks on "13," eleven are original while two are covers: Track 7 is a pounding cover of Pentagram's "Forever My Queen" while Track 12 is a cover of "With Time" by Agnostic Front. Track 13 is a hidden track, enchantingly entitled "Shit Kisser." (And it's pretty well hidden; coming five minutes and twenty seconds after the end of the 12th track).

Fans of Clutch, Superjoint Ritual and Black Label Society will find something to like about Solace. It's a CD that'll be in my regular listening line-up for sometime.

Solace: Tommy Southard - guitars; Rob Hultz - bass; John Proveaux - drums; Jason - vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:21 -0400 .