There’s no escaping the objective reality that times of turmoil, strife and widespread agitation are perfect for the release of a new Eyehategod record. If one band has the ability to nail life’s perpetual grubbiness and enervating repetition, via the well-respected medium of deeply fucked-up sludge metal riffs, then it’s New Orleans, Louisiana’s finest.
Spewed up in our direction a mere seven years after their blistering, thuggish self-titled effort – which itself emerged after a 14-year gap – A History Of Nomadic Behaviour confirms that nothing has changed and Eyehategod still sound like a drugged-out brawl at the last chance saloon: tweaked-out catharsis, delivered via a bar-stool to the head. And it’s still one of the most unashamedly obnoxious and exhilarating noises available anywhere on this accursed planet.
From opening slurry of lurching spite, Built Beneath The Lies onwards, frontman Mike Williams is in an unforgiving mood. If anything, he’s slightly more coherent than before, and sounds genuinely incensed with the state of things, both internal and external. When he screams ‘Negative!’ during The Outer Banks, it sounds like a war cry; when he bitterly recites the title of Every Thing, Every Day at the album’s end, he sounds just about ready to go postal in the local pharmacy.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Bower’s seemingly inexhaustible supply of ugly, broken-limbed riffs provides Williams with the perfect, whiskey-piss backdrop. Fake What’s Yours is a nasty blur of lurching, atonal wrongness; Current Situation loses its mind in a blaze of feedback halfway through, while also sounding like Black Sabbath’s A National Acrobat fed through a wood-chipper; High Risk Trigger is unnervingly catchy and a worthy successor to revered classics like Blood Money and Dixie Whiskey. The Day Felt Wrong sums most of the last 12 months up nicely, too. Sometimes, only Eyehategod really get it.