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by: Dino Irish
Death Sweats, the second LP from Canadian noise-rock trio War Baby, and released on their personal Bummer Records imprint, sounds like the audio fungus that grew off a sweaty, blood-stained flannel shirt from a raging 90’s moshpit. Immediately kicking the doors off the hinges, it’s highly recommended that you don’t start the album with the volume cranked because you’ll definitely blow your speakers and suffer some serious concussions and stress fractures to your ear drums.
“Master Blaster”, the opening track, chugs like a sludgy locomotive running off the rails, while the icy death-nail chant of “I wear my sunglasses in space” reigns in the chaos. “Spell” rolls off with loopy basslines, blunted zombie-chants, and riffage that sounds like ZZ Top ran into a taffy puller. “No Generation” asks “What do I believe now?” while dueling guitars match clean-toned trickling quick strums with thumps of strep-throat fuzzbox. “Spin Forever” unravels with schizophrenic feedback, sly squeals, and snotty steps up and down the fretboard. “Belly Ache” is a scuzzbag symphony, complete with rubberband-snap riffs, muted upside-your-head ch-chunks, and minor chords that nearly disappear like phantoms. “In Light Of” fades in with an eerie Zeppelinesque basement mystique before showing its DNA as the best parts of Layne Staley and early Nirvana. “Swamp Kunt” is a heavy jam, rollicking with a threatening plea of “Just leave me alone” before a furious middle guitar breakdown drops and shakes like a mischievous arsonist toying with a book of matches. “Throw Them in the Fire” just plain crunches like a pair of Chuck Taylors full of rocks. Finally,“Shrinking Violet” is a violent stomp with razor-wire laced combat boots, designed for the masochists who groove on absolute abuse.
War Baby’s Death Sweats is an album of full-on grunge, and plays like a sonic throwback jersey. Its sound is antique, unique, and all-around top shelf. It boxes the ears and gives no quarter to the sideliners who wear rock like a fashion and don’t live it like religion. So next time you have to deal with an ignorant butthead who says that time travel doesn’t exist, kick him in the shins and say, “Hey! Read H.G. Wells; watch ‘Back to the Future’; and spin a copy of War Baby’s Death Sweats!”
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “No Generation”