Acid Bath – When The Kite String Pops

Who? Acid Bath
What ? « When The Kite String Pops », their debut album.
When ? 1994

For my first review, I could chose an approachable, easy to describe and easy to promote piece. But I quite a lot listened to this album last times and since one needs to begin, let’s chose it!

First thing we can notice : larsen and noise, genuinely combined. That’s a warning : if you want a clean and healthy piece piece, just go away. And here come the bass and the drums hammer our heads with an irresistible, slow and creepy groove. Dax Riggs voice is now appearing : vicious, dirty, saturated. A singing style more common in hardcore punk (*) with its much more rushed tempo… As it happens, the rythmic section double the tempo, without losing its extraordinary groove. And so slow, declamatory parts and fast, compulsive parts come one after another. Sometimes, we can hear the clear voice of Dax Riggs : captivating and melodic…

As the first track ends The Blue, first note : what a groove ! Melodies are all but happy. On the whole, the sound is heavy and dirty. And yet, it works : changing and hypnotizing voices, very efficient riffs assure the headbanging. And that’s just the beginning.

I know that some people are reluctant to the genre classification of music, but it can help to describe this music a priori uncategorisable. Indeed, we can notice some characteristics common with many other genres. Let’s begin with the slowness. We could think that Acid Bath’s music is some doom metal (*) : slow, with declaimed lyrics and heavy tones. But there is this groove, sometimes present in doom music, however not its fundamental trait. Here it is much more a Stoner (*) groove : continuous and hypnotic. Even so, Stoner music generally offers more positive and optimistic songs and that’s clearly no the case here. Not even a tiny bit of good mood or happy perspectives. Actually, it’s close to an extremely punk (*) spirit. There is no more hope, just the nihilist and sick observation of our world. Top of all that, there are some really extremes times with gatling double bass drum, blast beats and very aggressive guitars (listen to Jezebel).
In short : what a mess ! Fortunately, because of this album and some others, some people decided taht a new genre name was necessary : sludge metal was born. I’ll use this term from now, it will be much more convenient than the whole last paragraph…

… And appears a ballad with acoustic guitars without any saturation but with a clear and melodic voice, a bluesy style. Weren’t they sludgy punks ? Not only. Because Scream Of The Butterfly is catchy, magnificent with an original progression. Much more « easy to listen » than the rest of the album, still… perfect.

I’d like to talk more about the other tracks, but we would still be here tomorrow.

To conclude, I’d say that any groove lover not afraid of noise will absolutely love this album. If it isn’t really famous for mainstream public (that’s quite understandable), it has an excellent reputation for mudy music lovers.

Acid Bath – When The Kite String Pops (1994) from UC13 on Vimeo.


*Some representatives artits illustrating the genres described in this article:
– For doom metal : Candlemass
– For le stoner : Kyuss (first band of Josh Homme, now leader of the famous band Queen of the Stone Age)
– For punk hardcore : Agnostic Front (careful, that’s really do it yourself quality production)

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