Fist Fight in the Parking Lot
On its new release 714, Fist Fight in the Parking Lot is constantly walking a tightrope between heavy, sludgy stoner metal and melody-driven rock. It’s the kind of music that is just a little too heavy for the average classic-rock fan, but isn’t so heavy that it embodies the oppressive, enveloping drone of stoner rock. The album grinds and hacks away with distorted guitars and driving percussion.
Sewn into the instrumentation are vocal melodies from Abby Krizner, whose range encompasses warm alto hooks as well as gritting texture to entrancing effect. The highlight of this record is its finale tune “What About Drugs.” The track riffs and swells around the powerful feminist poem, “Ode to My Bitch Face,” by Olivia Gatwood, before echoing off into the void. It’s an affirmation that insists women are tough and not to be fucked with.
Break out the weed, turn up the sound system, and give yourself over to the marriage of heavy rock and doom metal that Molasses Barge unites. MB’s eponymous album is the kind of record your Sabbath-obsessed elder would enjoy, but it’s also got enough sludge that tracks like “The Ash Season” and “Crosshairs” will also draw in fans of Electric Wizard and Weedeater. The music here manages to weave in melodies that make a heavier and challenging genre more accessible to the general rock world.
I often feel as if the raw energy of the doom music scene is not ever fully captured in recordings, and Molasses Barge’s tone sounds a bit brighter in the studio than it does on a stage. That being said, it still presents a distorted wall of sound ripe for headbanging an evening away.