Eyehategod – Eyehategod (Housecore)

Thursday, 22nd May 2014
Rating: 8/10

An album that probably should have never happened (taking 14 years to do so as well), Eyehategod’s self-titled full-length marks a warm and fuzzy return for one of the innovators of the New Orleans’ sludge sound. Unfortunately, time has allowed for the band’s sound to be poached and mangled by lesser acts, but there’s no substitute for terminal EHG trademarks like nauseating feedback inserts, Mike Williams’ hung-over spew, and tempos that are on pace with molasses. In turn, it’s just another day at the office.

As has been the norm since Take As Need For Pain, the missing-too Skynyrd-on-Black Flag jumble is how the band prefers to get down, thus loading up on the intensity on opener “Agitation! Propaganda!” But, the real moments of value come via EHG’s innate ability to take songs that would normally lull the average listener to sleep, and turn them into disturbed stomach-punchers, like the slow-as-fuck “Trying to Crack the Hard Dollar” and Williams-led “Nobody Told Me,” which emerges as the album’s highlight thanks to deadly swamp riff. Elsewhere, the rather humorously-titled “Robitussin and Rejection” lays down a swamp-addled groove laden with feedback and spacious riffing, while album closer “The Age of Bootcamp” stops and starts with the band’s trademark swells and punctuation.

For a creativity entity that has been dormant for well over a decade, Eyehategod have fared rather well for themselves here, circumstances (i.e. the untimely passing of drummer Joey Lacaze) notwithstanding. Better yet, there’s a rather big soft spot for these guys; the lovable dirtbags who have made a career out of playing decidedly uncomfortable and confrontational music. A welcome return indeed.

Eyehategod official site