Monday, May 06, 2013

Across Tundras / Lark's Tongue: Across Tundras / Lark's Tongue (2013)

Desert Split

I’ve discussed the Denver-to-Nashville transplants Across Tundras once or twice before. Their combination of country, folk, psychedelic rock, and stoner metal is what you might call a perfect storm of my musical interests. They have the potential to be one of my favorite bands, but with as prolific as they are I’ve been unable to catch up on everything they’ve done. That’s especially so if you include guitarist/vocalist T.G. Olson’s solo work (most of which can be had on the Across Tundras Bandcamp). He’s one of those guys who can’t seem to stop creating.

Their latest release is a split with Lark’s Tongue, out of Illinois. This is a band I’ve never heard of before, but there is definitely a common thread running between the two bands.

The split is just over a half hour, with each band contributing two songs. Lark’s Tongue gets the first half, playing desert rock with a pleasing clean vocal style and subtle synth backing. It’s not metal, but neither is Kyuss, and that’s never hurt their credibility among metalheads. Tasteful use of an echo effect is just one psychedelic touch to evoke the feeling of wandering through the desert and happening across some peyote.

As Across Tundras takes over, they treat you to a long drug haze before going into the music proper. The biggest difference between the two bands at this point is the vocal style, as Olson has a nasal, country aesthetic. AT is also dryer, if anything. Their second song is the only thing on the split to bring it into metal territory. It’s faster-paced, heavier, and extremely catchy with a staccato head-bobbing rhythm.

To any Kyuss fans who haven’t already checked out Across Tundras, this is the time to do so. Bring plenty of water.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

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