Death Valley Driver Graveyard Dead

Death Valley Driver Graveyard Dead
6
There's an odd middle ground between great mid-era Entombed death'n'roll, heavy boogie Southern metal and depresso bar band groove rock. It's a fine line, and is it ever frustrating when a band flirt with all the above, as Death Valley Driver do on their second album. There are some great moments, to be sure: the doom of "Ice Serpents," which leads into the sludge/Southern rock of "Crimson Mask" or the gonzo solo on "Bloodfeud," which doesn't lead anyone anywhere, in a wonderfully enjoyable way. But some of the vocals and the riffing just bring you back to your local tavern and that band that really, really want to be Pantera. While late album tune "Iron Jaw" may have that Phil and company's super-groove, it doesn't have the usual accompanying ooze of desperation and lonely-guy, three-Budweiser vibe that such thick grooves normally come packaged with. Instead, a more ragged, underground sludge feel permeates the track, helping give this one some identity and energy. (Diminished Fifth)