There’s no deviating from the obvious with Switchblade Jesus.
If one look at their promo shot – five burly lads with chin rugs, clutching beer close to their rotund chests – doesn’t at least suggest the meaty hooks of Southern-fried rock’n’roll then the psych’n’skull iconography of their artwork will rubber-stamp this Texan mob as worshippers of stoner rock.
But does the world need another Orange Goblin or Fu Manchu? Probably not, when they sound like this. Disappointingly, their debut doesn’t even try to play with dynamics. There are no sultry explorations into psychedelia and no cross-genre deviation save for the slow-moving Morricone-esque intro, Into Nothing, which has you expecting sonic fireworks on track two. Instead we’re met by Bastard Son’s casual stoner groove as their singer croons: ‘Your daddy was a bastard, bab-eh’ and the rest of the album rambles on in the same vein, dishing up track after track of straightforward heavy-riffing blues rock with no element of surprise. It’s fine as a debut, but hopefully Jesus’s second coming will write a story worth telling.