Goatsnake Dog Days

Hot on the heels of their excellent split CD with Burning Witch, Los Angeles retro-rockers Goatsnake return with yet another fine slab of '70s style swing that'll keep the kids on the edge of their seats. A mini-album this time out, the appropriately titled Dog Days sees the group offering up four new songs and a real slamming cover of the Free classic "Heartbreaker." With this release, Goatsnake make their claim to step up to the front lines of American heavy music. Ironically, saying that seems a little weird, as Goatsnake are much more British sounding than most current UK rock music. Lead guitarist Greg Anderson is heavily indebted to the Tony Iommi school of riffing. His guitar playing is fiery from beginning to end without being masturbatory, and while the band obviously tips their hats to the masters of yesteryear (Sabbath, Free, Deep Purple), they manage to do so without becoming derivative. Kicking off with the mind-numbing drum avalanche of "The Orphan," the quartet make claims for being one of the heaviest current bands this side of High On Fire or Sons Of Otis. A necessity for fans of the "tune low, play slow" mentality, and a really strong addition to any good heavy music collection. (Southern Lord)