Low Places Spiritual Treatment

Have you ever wondered what the devil spawn of metal and punk might sound like? It would probably come out sounding something like Spiritual Treatment, the new twelve-inch from L.A.'s Low Places. With eight tracks, the band divide their efforts between sludgy and slow and speedy punk numbers. They excel at both, but the magic happens when they show their punk stripes, blasting through tracks at warp speed. "Skeleton," "Controlled Chaos," "Detached" and "Struggle to Exist" are minute-long explosions. These tracks show a band that can create incendiary riffs and stoke the fire with a punk tempo. Spiritual Treatment's other four tracks take their time, playing with the type of demonic sounds you might expect from Black Sabbath, but slowed down to a lurch. "Sleeping In" is a back-to-basics exercise in hardcore minimalism; it's a soporific number with oozing repetition that sounds like Jack White could have produced it. Low Places' Spiritual Treatment is closer to an exorcism than a baptism, so get ready for a wild ride. (A389)