Monday, November 13, 2017

'68 - Two Parts Viper

I know nothing about singer/guitarist Josh's previous band, The Chariot, but after seeing this duo (with drummer Michael and plenty of effects on both vocals and guitar) a few weeks ago, I had to pick up their music (they were sold out of everything at the gig). The live show is incredible - absolutely crazed the entire time, with both members moving everywhere and never sitting still - even the drummer! Their sound is kinda like Jack White fronting a punkier/trashier Monster Magnet while on a bad acid trip! I know that all duos get compared to the White Stripes (and these cats kinda also remind me of Nina Coyote and Chica Tornado), but using similar sounds - a splitter for the guitar so that there are bass tones, as well - creates some similarities. Regardless, '68 infuses plenty of their own black magic into the mix to create something different from the rest.

On this disc, there's dynamics galore, feedback everywhere, shriekin'n'whoopin' vocals and starts'n'stops - and that's all in the first couple of minutes! "Whether Terrified or Unafraid" has more of all of this madness, along with some White Stripe-isms, vocals effects, call'n'answering, and chanting breaks. "Without Any Words" is almost like a cross between Nirvana and the Black Keys, "This Life is Old" does sound like White, "No Montage" is part pure howl and part soft melodies, "No Apologies" rides on dynamics and wild intensity with a spoken monologue in the middle, lots of extra layers of instruments work to good effect on "The Workers Are Few" and Josh sounds like he is in pain in "Life Has No Design". IN the last couple of numbers, there are riffs-a-go-go in "Death is a Lottery" along with keys which add more melody'n'drama and for the appropriately titled finale, "What More Can I Say", has almost Boris-like layers of keys and other instruments counter-balancing Josh's manic vocal delivery.

There is not much new under the sun these days, but '68 does an interesting and wild take on these ideas and gives it their own spit'n'polish. One of my fave new projects. And see them if you can - amazing in a live setting!