Endearing album title from this Aussie guitar/drums duo, Always the Heavy packs a whopping 13 tracks into 76 minutes that don’t always live up to its moniker; Spider Goat Canyon’s sound is really all over the map. But don’t get me wrong; this ain’t no easy listening.
A foghorn effect reverberates all over opening track “Rat Tooth,” which veers suddenly into “Needle Drivers,” a tune offering some more traditional stoner grooves beneath spoken-word vocals. Thankfully, “Crunk” isn’t some kind of southern rap music, but rather an industrial chugger a la Rob Zombie… which is alright, I guess.
“Vampyroteuthis Infernalis” is an eerie number befitting of its name—although they don’t sing it in Latin—complete with some downright doomy downstrokes, while the much more simply titled “Men” is a post-black-metal basher awash in a river of distortion. The album gets a bit bogged down by the 19-and-a-half minute “Secret Valley” before “Embryonic Gillslits” brings ‘er to a close on a lengthy, airy, instrumental note. These last few tunes make for decent background music, but nothing too engaging.