Medusa | En Raga Sul (Hawthorne Street)

cd_medusa.jpgBloomington, Ind.’s Medusa do not appear to be the kind of band that will be following their contemporaries’ fashion trends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking Medusa’s En Raga Sul blind—no band photo, no lyric sheet and zero press release to chisel and sculpt Medusa’s image—I see five guys in rag-tag dresses. Five twenty-something men in ugly, grandma dresses with sloppy afros. Such is the legacy left by King Buzzo (Melvins) and Jared Warren (Melvins, Big Business, Karp). While it is not the sludgy stoner-metal that inspired the aforementioned musicians to sport hairdos that make them resemble extras from Meatballs, the arty goofiness found in their music, along with other racket-makers, most likely is. Male musicians have been baiting meatheads for years.

Judging by their band photo, plus the colorful superlatives and macho qualifiers in their PR sheet, Bloomington, Ind.’s Medusa do not appear to be the kind of band that will be following their contemporaries’ fashion trends. Sure, they have the thick, nasty and meaty licks of the predecessors listed above, but their aura feels a bit more blunt and far less complicated.

En Raga Sul is a 30-minute burst of hook-’em horns stoner-core that is a top-notch foray into said genre. On the forefront of its strength are Scott VanBuren’s vocals: They have plenty of growl and bite, but do not stray into the unintelligible screaming which would have ruined this record. Oh, the lyrics are fairly muddled and hard to pick up, but that also is a big plus. You might say Medusa’s lyrics lean toward the darker side of human nature; for example: "Dare you taste the serpentine menstruation of divine damnation" and "Oh virgin undeserved of these chains/ Your blood is mine, it boils in my veins." Silly? Yes. Stupid? Probably, but they are nothing that you will not also find in your average D&D fantasy. Do yourself a favor and toss out the lyric sheet, as Medusa’s words will not move you to join the Peace Corps. However, when you put them to melody, they might inspire you to acquire a healthy case of whiplash. A | David Lichius

RIYL: High on Fire, Karp, Melvins

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