Thrones Sperm Whale

While Joe Preston may have cemented his place in the musical spectrum as one of the pioneers of heavy, extreme and slow (for godsakes he was in the Melvins and Earth), it is definitely his one-man band, Thrones, that is going to cause the most aggravation to the status quo. Embarking on a very odd road, Sperm Whale sees Preston playing all instrumentation, programming and generally throwing two fingers in the air at anyone that thinks they've figured him out. Littered with references to his former projects ("Manmtn," for instance), Sperm Whale is also rife with gratuitous electronics, sonic explorations, deviations and some really silly effects (the vocal modulation on "Nuts and Berries" comes to mind). However, it also maintains a strange sort of cohesion, generally being a "heavy" record despite the many twists and turns it takes during its musical progression. While Thrones may not be to the enjoyment of many that have followed Preston's career, it does accomplish what Preston has done throughout his tenures with the Melvins and Earth - make uncompromising and challenging music. (Kill Rock Stars)