Thinning the Herd – Oceans Rise

By Gruesome Greg

Though it’s best known for its goofy reality TV show nowadays, a decade or so ago, New Jersey was a veritable stoner rock factory, with the likes of Monster Magnet, The Atomic Bitchwax, Solace and Solarized emerging onto its shores like a multi-headed dirty swamp beast. Although NYC was the closest major market, it seems that most of the stoner bands in that territory came from Jersey. That being said, Thinning the Herd is a band that’s proud to call The Big Apple home, personally proclaiming that they’re keeping the city’s heavy rock scene alive—along with some other bands that I’ve never heard of, either.

The title track starts things off, a slow, heavy, head-nodding number. “Defiler” offers more of the same, a downtuned shitkicker that fell off the stoner tree and landing in a pile of sludge. It quickly becomes apparent that this is meat-and-potatoes, bare-bones heavy rock, served just the way I like it.

“Binge” is a barn-burning, mid-paced rocker with bite coming in at the mid-point of the album, some great fuzzy stoner riffing on this one and lyrics about watching children burn(!). “Wide Crossing” is the band’s personal anthem, with its chorus repeating their moniker a handful of times over a dirty bed of fuzz, and tossing in a “motherfucker!” at the end for effect. “On Fire” brings the album to a slow, sludgy close… Man, this track smokes!

Maybe it’s worth checking out the other bands they mention in their press kit, if they’re half as good as this.

http://www.myspace.com/castrosbeard

(St. Mark’s Records)

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.