Sixty Watt Shaman Reason To Live

Reason To Live is a rock opera for the sleazy, dirty and downtrodden NOLA type, a 70-minute opus of swampy sludge, dirty blues and acoustic dirges that's structured wonderfully to maintain a smart continuity that keeps the listener interested (I still can't get through it in any less than two sittings, though). Maryland's Sixty Watt Shaman aren't Queensrÿche incarnate, rather they simply organised the songs on this album in a flowing way - the first eight or nine cuts rock out in a COC-influenced heavy Southern swagger, then as the night goes on, the slower remorseful tunes begin, the acoustic guitars get pulled out and the 20-minute jam session, which just happens to feature Scott Reeder and Wino (of the Obsessed), keeps this one going until all hours. SWS know how to write a great song as well, being up there with the New Orleans Down/Crowbar crew when they're at their best. I just really dig the way this thing is structured, but most of the tunes rock damn hard as well. Since it'll be another decade or so until Down releases another album, all eyes should be on these guys to see what else they can pull out of their hat until then. (Spitfire)