Album: Punctuated Equilibrium
Artist: Scott “Wino” Weinrich
Wino is a Doom staple. The man has been in almost every important Doom band since ’86. I have always felt that he was the underground’s equivalent to Ozzy. Loved and revered by many and respected by all who have a love for Doom. This release is something a little different for him, a solo record. One that has been, according to Wino, in the making since the late seventies. Now finally released for the world to hear.
This album will surprise no one. This is pure doom at it’s finest made by one of it’s many disciples and elder statesmen. Whether it’s pure rockers like the title track or low and slow with Eyes of Flesh, there is quality all around. For an album that has such a long history it doesn’t feel like it. These ten tracks feel fresh and new, while still retaining their retro influences. The subject manner on this album runs the gamut. Song’s topics range from the felling he gets while touring the country (Smili’n Road) to his political leanings (God’s, Fraud, Neo-Cons, and Demagogues). His stamp is all over this record.
Musically this is a showcase for some great musicians. Wino again with his amazing riffs played on his black Gibson, his preferred weapon of choice. The sound it produces is heavy and thick. His riffs stick in your head as though they were made of peanut butter. But his supporting cast are no slouches either. The bass duties are handled by the late Jon Blank (Unorthodox(US), Wretched) and drums held down by Jean Paul Gaster (Clutch). Both more than hold their own with this legend and are given much credit by Wino for arrangements and ideas. Blank’s bass playing really stands out. His bass sounds are clean and the tones are subterranean. Gaster drumming is what holds it all together. While the others are riffing and improvising his solid beats keep the songs grounded. His drumming is not flashy or jazzy but deliberate and hard. Focusing more on the kick drum and assorted toms than the cymbals. While they may have only been playing together for a short time, you never get that feeling when you listen. They sound as if they have been playing together for years. So instead of feeling like hired musicians they function as a band should function, as one cohesive unit.
As a fan of Doom and all it encompasses, when I hear the name Wino my ears perk up. Knowing that what I am about to hear, based on his impeccable reputation, will be something epic. Let’s face it with bands such as Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, and The Hidden Hand; he has a lot to live up to. Thankfully for this fan of all things Doom I was not let down, and neither will you if you are a fan of doom or new to the scene. If you are new to Doom this may be just the album to make you a fan for life. For those unfamiliar with Wino let this album serve as your introduction.
Highlights: Wild Blue Yonder, The Woman in the Orange Pants, Secret Realm Devotion
R.I.P. Jon Blank