Look, I get it: You don’t like to have fun anymore. No one does. Politics suck, the weather sucks, your rent/mortgage sucks, your job sucks, the universe sucks. Why, just the other day I saw a guy slip on the ice, crack his head open, and immediately get attacked and eaten by a wild dog that subsequently got hit by a garbage truck after happily trundling off into the road. Then that same garbage truck careened into a small cafe and hospitalized ten people who were diligently working on their blogs, so at least twenty other people had to go a day without reading clever tweets in reference to The Walking Dead from the @DannibalCorpses and @MorbidAngelas of our world. Earth has become a dark, dark place, and we all need our music to suitably reflect our fiercely gloomy dispositions.
But just in case you want a little fun – JUST IN CASE – and you’re tired of dipping into pop country or pop R&B or pop whatever, and you’ve had your fill of pizza thrash bands that all use the same pointyrazor logos, Hazzard’s Cure has the cure for your hazardous life.
ANOTHER BAY AREA BAND
If you find yourself wondering why I seem to cover so much music from this particular area of California, it’s because it remains one of the most (if not the most) productive and vital zones for metal in the U.S. Every branch is represented in spades, and oftentimes, an assemblage of nutters will blender whatever the hell they can get their hands on in order to fashion some sort of Frankenstein’s monster style that’s capable of kicking you to the dirt from every angle. Such is the case for Hazzard’s Cure, a band that yanks thrash, doom, traditional and punk underneath a broader stroke of sludgy fun to create something I can only think to call…tradoom thrunk?
“An Offering” is slithering, deadly and nearly Autopsy at times, and those repulsive vocals sound as fitting to the tune as they would from a lunatic hobo barking his offense about being handed a free ham sandwich that includes mayo. And the glide into the next song, “Hewn in Sunder,” is completely seamless, despite switching gears into something that starts off sounding like a dirtier Slough Feg playing in the basement of whatever warehouse Slough Feg happens to be playing. So yes, things will turn on a dime without a stumble or a stutter, but always beneath the Hazzard’s Cure iron-fisted tradoom thrunk thump.
Most everything about Smoke Iron Plunder is set up to be the perfect soundtrack to Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days, but it does so in a manner that never quite manages to reach into outright goofiness. This is a partying metal record for professional partiers –– undefeated shotgunners kicking things off in a dim corner bar at 6pm alongside a few pickle-nosed oldies and some gin & tonics who understand that waking up at a Motel 6 in a different state with a vague recollection of riding a stolen horse to get there is clearly within the realm of possibility. Yet come Monday, they still manage to get to work on time, because they’re pros.
Hazzard’s Cure may never break away from being local heroes who spend late afternoons rigorously attacking telephone poles with black and white flyers, but there’s well enough heart, conviction and a raw-as-bleached-bones level of talent on display here that makes Smoke Iron Plunder something any metal fan should consider.