Shamefully behind on our email inbox and trying to recover ground as you read, we recently come upon an email from Cory McCallum, the bassist for Toronto’s finest sludge doomsters Olde. He was pointing our way to the recently released debut album from Head of Jeddore, the new project of Olde guitarist Greg Dawson and we can only send massive thanks back in return because with ease How to Slaughter a Lamb is one of the most gripping and thrilling encounters to accost our ears this year.
Brampton hailing, Head of Jeddore is an Ontario super-group of sorts, a project seeing guitarist Billy Curtis (The Abandoned Hearts Club, Cunter) and vocalist Friendly Rich Marsella (Friendly Rich, the Lollipop People) alongside Dawson but also featuring numerous guests such as Damian Abraham of Fucked Up, Shatterpoint’s Greg Wright and Shane Drake and Kenny Bridges and Erik Hughes from Moneen amongst many others. The trio have stewed up a cauldron of groove, alternative and stoner metal with noise infested insanity and created one warped, delicious and intrusively imaginative incitement. Like a psychotic fusion of System Of A Down, The Melvins, The Fat Dukes Of Fuck, Devildriver and Five Star Prison Cell, How to Slaughter a Lamb descended upon, tormented and pleasured the senses but, despite those references, with a uniqueness in character and sound which proved pure addiction.
How to Slaughter a Lamb opens up with its title track, instantly binding and invading the listener in one gloriously esurient groove. It bores deep, a trespass being more than matched by the just as pugilistic rhythms and Friendly Rich’s animated tones. Mere seconds saw us being hooked on the track and each preceding moment relishing being drawn deeper in to its manic depths.
Unpredictability and imagination bear twist after twist in the song and continue to shape the album with the following Into the Well just as keen on such dextrous manipulation. Jabbing riffs and beats set its course, melodic wiring spiralling around their probing as drama sweeps vocals and enterprise soon exposes it’s tempting. Again grooves emerge to burrow deep within the senses and appetite, the song never going where it suggestively aims to leave any expectations lost and our ears deep in pleasure.
The Age of Entitlement has a bearish embrace for ears initially, one soon expanding with noise and psych aberrance as again the guitars and rhythms twist and turn like over animated dervishes. Similarly vocals provide a theatre of presence and intent, Friendly Rich magnetically leading the show and never relaxing in the turmoil of enterprise before The Tragedy Network bores deep with nefarious riffs, belligerent rhythms and vocal animosity. An embrace of heavy metal adds to its infernal dance and if it did not quite burst the banks of pleasure as those before it with screwy grooves and rapacious voracity the track greedily hit the spot.
The heinous beginnings of next up Let Me Rot had ears and imagination enslaved straight away, vocals a sinister suggestion as they prowl the senses within a web of fiendish grooves and villainous rhythms. It is the corrupt sway frequenting the track which brings the song’s magnificence to a head, unlatching the abhorrence and depravity within with a good side dish of tongue in cheek.
Emerging from its anguish Kathmandu erupts with equally aberrant hunger and urgency, every aspect of the band and song a tempest of feral and infernal creative sinfulness weaving webs of sound that invade apathy and attention in word and deed while Blood Waltz grips the body and sends it into frenzy like a psychotic puppeteer. But the story only evolves as calms led to only greater slavery of its demented invention and unpredictability and then even more invasive corruptions in deed and vicious energy that followed.
Another trapping the listener in greed igniting grooves is The Old Man and the Sea, the track thick enticement from the start even as vocal and rhythmic confrontation showed less mercy. Swiftly the flirtation of its twists and turns bore fertility, melodic and progressive textures bearing fresh twists and detours even as the insanity around them rose and rose. Entrapment was quick and greedily welcomed setting up an even greedier appetite for successor Peepholes and Moles. From its composed beginnings, the track unleashed a ravenous nagging, its grooves tunnelling like half of its titled protagonists to prepare the ground for the warped theatre to come. Like all tracks, assumptions and expectations of things to come were worthless, at times you even wonder if the trio knew what was to happen, every moment that challenged and incited greedily devoured.
The Bake Sale completes the release, certifiable and voracious from the start and never relenting in its creative meshuga and diabolical raving. It is a ferocious ending to How to Slaughter a Lamb, one again prone to unexpected fingering of the imagination as it inflamed the senses and passions; something the release did with every passing second and only seemed to cause more mayhem with every wonderfully accursed listen.
How to Slaughter a Lamb is out now; available @ https://headofjeddore.bandcamp.com/releases
Pete RingMaster 02/07/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review