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Easily Amusing - 75%

DawnoftheShred, December 28th, 2009

One of about a million forgotten groups that were only privileged to release a single album before disbanding, Slo Burn were one of many Californian stoner metal groups to sprout up in the 90’s as the genre started to really simmer. They had the advantage of featuring ex-Kyuss singer John Garcia as their frontman, but at the same time, they had the disadvantage of forever playing second fiddle to Garcia’s more famous band. Nonetheless, the Amusing the Amazing EP, their sole venture, is of atypical quality for this sort of thing and definitely worth a listen, if one happens to come along.

Slo Burn churns out a straightforward, bass-heavy blend of doom-laced rock and roll that sounds like the burnt out, metalhead cousin of Collective Soul. The riffs are pure retro-crunch and the wandering vocals call to mind decades past, but the subtle melody and groove are somehow more akin to the grunge/alternative rock that was popular during the band’s brief lifespan. It’s a strange brew, but it goes down smooth thanks to the warm production and focused songwriting. There’s some interesting soft bits that really play up the 70’s vibe the band so hopes to generate, but the simple pleasure of the fuzzed out guitars plowing through riff after riff with John Garcia’s soulful vocals over top more than justify the time and money spent acquiring this album, assuming that you didn’t spend too much of either. Highlights? Eh, it’s all pretty uniform, really. But that means no shitty filler either. If you like one track, you’re pretty much guaranteed to like them all.

It’s not too retro, it’s not too repetitive, and it’s not too long. It’s just a purposeful slab of groovy, doomy, rock music made out of appreciation for the style. And if you can get it for cheap, stoner metal fans shouldn’t have any regrets.