Depression seems to be one of life’s nasty side effects. Recent studies prove listening to sad music makes sad people sadder, longer. Some songs on the other hand take all that self loathing and turns it outward. On Deep Cuts... L.A. sludge metal band 16 return after 8 years of silence with their trademark pummeling beats and aural neck punches.
Where earlier releases had 16 wearing wet socks in an icy puddle during a hail storm, this newer sound might be the culmination of singer Chris Jerue’s well publicized stint in rehab. This time the prize fighter is clean and ready to spar again, this time with fists faced out. These are songs about the life changing mistakes people make, sometimes inevitable, sometimes irreversible. This time however, there is much less sulking. This album feels like it was made by and older but wiser band. Some of their venom spent but still ready to attack.
On the other hand, I don’t think you can go wrong with anything 16 has released. That is, if you’re willing to spend time in a caustic and bitter sadness hangover. Luckily the driving bass riffs and chugging guitars serve to get your blood flowing again so you can go do the messed up things that got you depressed in the first place.