Acid King The Early Years

For latecomers to Acid King’s down-tuned depravity, Japan’s Leaf Hound has re-released the San Francisco trio’s first recordings: their eponymous 1994 debut EP (vinyl-only) and 1995 full-length Zoroaster, both originally on Sympathy for the Record Industry and sinfully out of print. The Early Years features no bonus tracks, no new artwork — just beautifully ugly doom from one of the genre’s leading ladies. As she growls, "Slow, that’s the only way I know” in opener "Lead Paint,” front-woman Lori S. means it, leading her three-piece through torpid tuneage with uncomplicated Neil Young-like solos. The six-minute "Drop” is another creeper, with Kyuss-like pedal effects. "Midway” features backing vocals by producer and Melvins drummer Dale Crover (also Lori’s hubby). "Evil Satan,” the lead track off Zoroaster, lopes and lurches through the band’s now signature doomscapes, and "One Ninety-Six,” "Tank,” "Dry Run” and "Queen of Sickness” reinforce the band’s devotion to the groove. "Vertigate #1” and its reprise, "Vertigate #2” (the latter with an intro of a Harley rumbling to life), prove that Acid King, even 12 years ago, were no mere dilettantes to doom. This retro compilation is a must-hear for fans of their later material. (Leaf Hound)