Since their inception in 2009 Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats have traversed the fuzzed out, scuzzy, and psychedelic realm of the metal world over the course of three full length albums. Now with their fourth release, The Night Creeper, they continue this journey but delve deeper into the darkest corners of crime infested back alleys and bring to life a long lost time of grind house horror. It’s not new territory, but here it all has a more ominous, visceral, and dangerous tone.
The ultra fuzzed out sound that drew me initially to their second release Blood Lust has been a constant with the band and is as much a part of them as their tales of murder, intrigue, drugs, and questionable characters. This release follows a slasher on the prowl for fresh meat from several different viewpoints and as the tracks tick away it plays out like a grainy, pulp flick from the 60’s.
“Waiting For Blood” instantly recalls Blood Lust with its rocking guitar riffs and melodious vocal lines while “Murder Nights” slows things down a bit and begins the descent into depravity. With a slower riff repeated over and over then spiraling in on itself across the bridges it does give an eerie feel. “Downtown” gives itself over to all the excess in the song lyrics of vices and dollar theaters with a psychedelic sludge of slow, downtuned guitar lines and nervous cymbal usage. Uncle Acid turns in a note perfect vocal performance, slipping up and down the register with ease to add to the already drugged out vibe of the track.
Personal favorite, “Melody Lane”, combines the heaviness of albums past with dirty riffs and near trance inducing drumming. Again, the vocals soar with the solos that surface near the end of the track. This is what it would sound like if Electric Wizard watched an old Bronson movie in the midst of a horror marathon. Over the course of the album, the band covers all the bases including a few unheard thus far. The continuous chug of “Inside” truly shows their British roots along with “Yellow Moon” which is an instrumental that feels like an intermission, but one you wouldn’t want to miss by getting any popcorn. Also, the jam band inspired “Slow Death” was a bit of a surprise and at over nine minutes it truly stretches out like an electrified Allman Brothers track.
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats further their place in the metal and rock world and prove that their chosen direction of fuzz and tales of ill repute can continue to make them relevant as much as satisfy discerning listeners. Four albums in and the band seems to somehow sound better with each release and the subtle changes in delivery keep it sounding fresh and never stale. As much as I adore each release in its own rite, The Night Creeper may have just crept to the top of the heap.