New music we like: Caltrop
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We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. In Playlisted, we share our latest recommendations.
Album: Ten Million Years And Eight Minutes by Caltrop (out April 3 on Holidays For Quince)
Press play if you like: Bourbon, barbiturates, astrophysics, cryptozoology, grooves
Some background: Caltrop has been kicking around its native North Carolina (and points beyond) for years now, but it’s taken the psychedelic metal quartet since 2008’s promising World Class to incubate its current bid for immortality. Ten Million Years And Eight Minutes is Caltrop’s new full-length, and it packs a limber yet lumbering impact. From the spoken-word, Slint-meets-Kyuss slither of “Birdsong” to the Sir Lord Baltimore-esque proto-metal of “Ancient,” the disc scales every height and plumbs every depth in its quest for the unknowable. Prog-blues riffs are used to excavate the countryside; slide guitar covers the fossils back up with mud. The cosmic, modal folk-sludge of “Zelma” ushers out the album on a melodic, meditative note, although by that point, there’s no option left but oblivious serenity. Gray matter has already been atomized.
Try this: As widely as Ten Million Years wanders, it cultivates its Southern roots, too. There’s a heady whiff of The Allman Brothers Band’s swamp gas to be huffed—not to mention a stiff dose of classic songwriting prowess—on “Blessed,” a lush and richly dynamic track that boldly embarks on an epic, two-pronged journey to the far side of the heavens and to the bottom of the bong.