Thursday, May 3, 2012
Cortez - S/T
This is one of the easiest reviews I'll ever get to write. Cortez is one of my favorite contemporary bands playing mid-tempo heavy rock. They have a new DOUBLE ALBUM on 180-gram vinyl with great cover art that's worthy of acrylic on denim. All the kick ass songs I've been hearing them blast out at shows the past 4 years are now documented and now I know what the songs are actually called. It's the full meal deal! Be warned, there isn't a parental advisory sticker on the cover but there are a lot of pottymouth lyrics.
Since their 2007 EP Thunder in a Forgotten Town, Cortez switched singers and lost a guitarist but the changes only made the band stronger. Lots of bands out there are playing in a heavily Sabbath influenced realm but Cortez is one of the few to utilize more than just the usual Master/Volume 4 riff rehash. For those of us who have spent decades analyzing the Sabbath family tree know just how much killer shit there is that people tend to overlook. The reason why all those Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple records are so classic is the variety. Cortez understands that and plays the music they want to hear. I wanna hear it ,too and have been playing the hell out of this!
Album opener "Johnny" is the perfect introduction to Cortez. Guitarist Scott O'Dowd laying it down hard and heavy. Drummer Jeremy Hemond comes in with one of his patented Cozy Powell-esque drum fills to signal bassist Jay Furlo to start thudding away and singer Matt Harrington starts belting it out big time. This is a fast and catchy song that I guarantee that you will cause you to increase the volume at least twice before it's over. The rest of side one is equally killer. "All Hail" is slow and powerful while "Until We Die" has a killer trippy jam in the middle. "Ride On" is easily my favorite Cortez song. Kick ass speed limit rock with references to cheap beer and dirt weeed. You will definitely want to crank this one loud when you cruise around the parking lot looking for a spot at the Priest concert. It's too bad radio stations don't play album sides anymore, this would be a good 'un for people to get down to this summer.
And the other sides ain't bad either! Side two shows them stretching out with some psychedelic warrior jams like "Wormwood" and the Mountain-influenced "Beyond The Mountain." "Monolith" has some excellent Corky Laing style cowbell and "Immigrant Song" moans. Side three has great songs like "Nice Try" and "Northlander" but "Satan" towers high above them. If you ever wished "The Tempter" by Trouble wasn't so damn pro-Jesus, then you've got a new favorite song. Also, anyone that loves the song "Warhead" will be thrilled. Side four (!) has raw demo versions of "Johnny," "Until We Die" and "Monolith" as a nice bonus. The music's heavy and the vinyl's heavy. What more could you want?
Not sure of the exact street date on this one but their record release show in Boston is 5/5 with special guests Mighty High.
Buy from Kozmik Artifactz
"Johnny" on bandcamp