Grails Doomsdayer's Holiday

As it turns out, their EP for Important Records, Take Refuge in Clean Living, was not Grails’ shoring up a direction but seemingly a cap on their folk leanings. Doomsdayer’s Holiday kicks off definitively and scarily with apocalypse horses galloping and the screams of the innocent. After that, the dark groove of "Reincarnation Blues” reminds us the Portland, OR group once knocked a Sabbath cover out of the park (on Temporary Residence’s odd tribute album). Even the quieter moments like "The Natural Man” hide echoes and whispers in the flute trills and dappled trees. It might be upsetting if it wasn’t so damn much fun. "Predestination Blues” gives us a prog gypsy theme for the ages (you might need to score a cloak to truly rock out to it). "X-Contaminations” would have us believe even the digital recordings have been warped by some ancient evil. Grails continue to impress with their ever-unfolding identity and badass chops. (Temporary Residence)