Akimbo - _Navigating the Bronze_
(Alternative Tentacles, 2007)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (8.5 out of 10)
Following a string of albums rooted more strongly in sloppy punk rock tantrums than all things metal, Akimbo recruit a guitar player (Aaron Walters) who can actually play real riffs and "voilĂ !" -- we have ourselves a new contender in the sludge sweepstakes. Equal parts stoner, amorphous punk and the aforementioned sludge, _Navigating the Bronze_ unloads what have to be the band's finest tunes (others may prefer their prior work just for the reckless disregard for songwriting alone).

"Dungeon Bastard" packs a helluva wallop and tapers off with a Mastodon-worthy chord sequence. "Hiding in Paper" alternates pounding Sabbath riffage with the more mellow vibes of the '70s, but primarily concerns itself with establishing a mounting sense of dread and unease, with Jon Weisnewski's larynx shredding vox unwavering throughout. "Stjernaborg" starts and ends strong but meanders too similarly for too long in the midsection. "Roman Coins" stands to be the new concert fave from the album, 2:45 of Bonham-esque drumming cycling around the kit in an insistent yet langorous tribal jam fashion, until about midway through when the gloves come off and Nat Damm really lets loose.

Flashes of Akimbo's slop rock past break through on quickies like "Huge Muscles" and "You Can Hear the Honey", but contrasting those with the Kyuss homage "The Curse of King David" or the early Clutch knockoff "Lungless" shows where the band's real future lies, and that's in the jam.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/akimbo

(article published 2/12/2007)


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