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"Casualties," the sophomore album by the stoner-rock supergroup, will floor you

by | Dec 16, 2020


Whoa! Murcielago just yanked the veil off a mammoth slab of finely chiseled stoner rock. Casualties, the foursome’s second full-length in six years, is well worth the wait. Maybe you forgot what a killer voice bassist Neil Collins has. Well, welcome the fuck back! Brian Chaloux, who also pounds the skins in Pigboat, is in top form here, and I could listen to guitarists Matt Robbins (of King Memphis fame) and Ian Ross cut heads all night. But the band, seasoned players all, judiciously keeps the jamming in check until the final track, the Skynyrd-on-speed anthem “Anaconda.” There’s real songcraft being practiced here, a defiance of expectations most evident on the opener, “Blues for the Red Lobster,” and “Sherman’s March,” which features some tasty keyboard work by guest Spencer Albee. “The Highest Low” is probable cause for a speeding ticket, and “Naked in Night Court” deftly shifts from buzzy broken-speaker riffage to glimmering psych-metal. Still, for pure rock satisfaction, nothing tops the segue from the breezy acoustic interlude “Nhoj” (a.k.a. “Matt Got Roofied”) into “Land of Nod,” a blistering blues-rock burner that will take demonic possession of both your hands, extend the pinky and index, and lift them over your banging head. Play loud, and often.

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