Backwoods Payback – Fire Not Reason


I last heard from Backwoods Payback about five years back, when they released their Momantha record on Small Stone, a pretty decent dose of southern-fried heavy rock from a band outta Pennsylvania. In the years since, they’ve switched a few things up, dropping from a four-piece to a trio before releasing this album independently. Most notably, they’ve added veteran sludge-basher Erik Larson, of such outfits as Hail! Hornet, The Might Could and Alabama Thunderpussy to the fold—giving them a bona fide southern presence behind the kit.

These nine tracks fly by in just over half an hour, with many lasting not much more than three minutes. Opening track “Elephants” bridges the gap between Black Tusk and Black Pyramid, an up-tempo number with a couple heavy breakdowns and surprisingly clean singing. Perhaps a touch of Elder here as well. By contrast, “You Don’t Move” is a straight-forward mid-paced stomp; two minutes of heavy riffs and a cloud of smoke a la Lo-Pan or Borracho. “Dirge” also occupies that mid-paced, mid-tempo groove territory of outfits like Lo-Pan or Gozu—other acts that have been signed to Small Stone at some point, FWIW. “That Dream Again” is heavy as fudge… and hey, isn’t that the riff from Kyuss’ “One Inch Man” in the fourth track “Don’t Try?”

I would have to dust off their last record from 2011, but I’d say this one compares pretty favourably. They’ve still got that “Small Stone sound,” in other words…

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for

7.0 Rating