Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - The Night Creeper - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - The Night Creeper

by Miz DeShannon Rating:7 Release Date:2015-09-04

It doesn't take much to come to the conclusion that Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats are stepping solidly in the footsteps on Black Sabbath. An easy and lazy conclusion, in fact, but who cares – it’s not a bad band to be likened to.

The list of doom-laden, heavy-psych metal bands could go on, and Uncle Acid do in fact seem to have gone out of their way in encouraging descriptions and metaphors from hazy days of the late 60s and its infamous happenings. They revel in reviews of speedily released albums and tour support with the Gods themselves, rapidly increasing public love for the Uncle Acid vintage anomie.

It's not just a comparison made lightly because Sabbath are, undoubtedly, the best band on the planet. Still. Uncle Acid genuinely do have some depth comparable to early metal and prog albums; technical ability and solid narratives. Heavy sludge basslines layered with a plethora of hair rock riffs and a zillion restless tritones ('Murder Nights') takes some doing to perform. Stop-start beats and tempo changes, the dissonance of that soul-chilling Flatted Fifth – magic. Black magic, even. And the steal; there is actually a story behind the album again. Who'd have thought, something re-appearing in albums these days, the full creative throw of psych beauty is right here. The tale is that of a 'street creeping homeless figure', song titles alluring into an incarcerated murderous life, and the slow painful death of the character. Positively Dickensian. And a good rock album is not all about hits, it’s about concept. The concept and the delivery. (Frequent use of the same chord intros and vocal harmonies in 'The Night Creeper' can be overlooked...)

Audibly though this album isn't as noir as one would believe from the written narrative. Taking from the bold contrasts found in classic rock – that of the surprise ventures into instrumentals and sampling – Uncle Acid have managed to throw in echoes of The Beatles and sweetheart girl-group pop. Not really shocking, but 2/3 of the way through there is a distinct plateau in the excitement such things should bring. Whilst 'Melody Lane' has an absolutely immense guitar solo in the background literally screaming through the positively whiny vocals, 'Inside' also screams, but more of mid-career Lennon. Lead man Starrs says the contrasts are “about balancing those sugar melodies with evil, insidious intent”, but it's not quite as comfortable a balance as that found on Vol.4, for instance. There's a bit of a wobble on this one.

Low on riffs, high on strumming, the Pink Floyd-like noodling and intensity of 'Slow Death' is as unexpected as 'Fluff', and the super-dark surprise you only get if you're not hovering over the stop button, is secret track 'Black Motorcade'. Sickeningly deep cello almost takes you to the depths of Type O Negative. A really good end, for the street creeper.

Under produced and slightly crackly, 'The Night Creeper' is bringing back all those memories of the first time of listening to 'Paranoid' and hearing Iommi's fake fingers squeak on the strings. Or the raw riffs on a Hendrix reel-to-reel recording, or a mono vinyl of 'Twist and Shout'. It's a good vintage, as the wine buffs say.

Sold.

 

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