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Thick is the word I would chose if I had to sum this album in one word. Heavy, yes. Crunchy, yes. Sludgy, yes. But Thick covers all the basses, because when you combine Zakk Wyldes ultra-beefy guitar tone, a penetrating bass sound and smashing drums, you get this satanically thick sound that seems so fall out of your speakers into giant metallic chunks.
This album has a good variety of tunes. You get the groove-based rockers like "Bored To Tears", which has an unforgettable main riff and a blistering solo, and the start-stop strut of "The Rose Petalled Garden", which is a very haunting song, which you will pick up on early with Zakks lingering, eerie chords (Think "Call of Ktulu" by Metallica). You get the songs that are just brutal ass-beatings like "Lost My Better Half" (Simple, heavy as fuck and catchy as hell - not to mention that absolutley insane guitar solo) and Mother Mary (This song will make you want to fight. The bass riff is amazing, and those infamous Wylde-squels are dominant throughout the song). You also get two acoustic songs - One a shred-fest instrumental entitled "T.A.Z." which is takes a spanish-guitar motif, and the other a heart-wrenching ballad entitled "Spoke in the Wheel", in which Zakk sings very much like Layne Staley (from Alice in Chains fame).
So you get a good variety of tunes, but are they all memorable? Most are, but there are one or two duds. The first two songs, "Bored to Tears" and "The Rose Petalled Garden", absolutley rock and tear your head off. "Hey You (Batch of Lies)" is also very good, but not in the brutal, ass-beating way that the first two were. It's more a doom-ish, haunting rocker. "Born To Loose" goes back to the ass beating with riffs, riffs, solos, and did I mention riffs? Then we run into the first dud, "Peddlers of Death" - this song just kind of plods along with annoying scratchy guitar noises and no real sense of direction. It sounds promising, but it really never goes anywere, and is very skippable. "Mother Mary", like I said, just absolutley rips. "Beneath the Tree" is an eerie song, with a pulsating bass line and a similar drumbeat. "Low Down" - fuck yes. This is what BLS is about, beating the shit out of you with riffs, and amazing you with solos. The rest of the album is great, up until the end.
The lyrics are pretty good. Don't expect lyrical genius, but you do get a pretty nice set of lyrics cooked up by Mr. Wylde. He is particullary good at expressing anger, and feeling the need to beat somones ass.
Overall, this is a killer debut. Unfortunetly, not all BLS' future releases will prove to be as good, but this album is great, and definetly worth picking up. I highly reccomend it.