DIAMONDHEAD "Street Leaf" (White Tapes)

Those familiar with White Tapes proprietor Russ Waterhouse's work in Blues Control will immediately recognize a kindred spirit in Diamondhead. Maybe there's something in the air in South Austin that with the right combination of musical heritage, intuition and whiskey could account for what's channeled on "Street Leaf." L. Eugene Methe (Naturaliste) and R.J. Reynolds' (Leatherbag) melding of psych and R&B with folk sensibilities recalls another couple of Austin dwellers and former tape-slangers, Charalambides. But Diamondhead's influences extend well beyond the south, and since Methe is from Nebraska, that whole correlation might be fudged anyway. A listen to the title track just as easily evokes Ennio Morricone's soundtracks for Argento flicks, done up raw garage style with obliterated vocal mumbles, fuzzed out wah guitar, badass creep bass and mean as hell drum gnashing. The various additions of synth, organ and tape effects on "Oh Oh Rimbaud" and "Alabastor" emanate the jarring atmospherics one might expect from a No Neck session. An interlude on side A even throws in some screeching fried violin for good measure. The ten tracks which make up "Street Leaf" tend to sprawl like excerpts culled from hours of living room jams, yet every selection has unique ideas and despite the loose format emerge as whole. Another killer tape from this highly slept-on label. RECOMMENDED!

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