While I'm sure most of you are going "who?", this is one release that I've been anticipating for well over a year. From the ashes of the band, and this site's namesake, PiT, guitarist Jim Lavender and bassist Curt Briscar have found new members, a new musical vision, and have finally resurfaced as Voodoo Brother.
To say the least, Voodoo Brother is a far cry from what these guys have done previously. So much so in fact, that Lavender no longer uses his former stage name of Joe Campo. He fooled me! Voodoo Brother is like a collaboration of the known and the unknown; like if Down shared a tour bus with the late, great Agatha Crawl.
Their brand of powerful stoner-esque rock is actually more metal like a band like Down or Corrosion Of Conformity, but with a slightly more disciplined, tight sound throughout VOODOO BROTHER. That said though, the appeal to this band is their vocalist, Johanathan Viceroy. Viceroy reminds me a lot of Agatha Crawl vocalist Darryl Svitak from a decade ago when they released their INSOLENCE album nationally. The difference though is that Viceroy is a bit more bombastic and unpredictable than Svitak ever was. Listening to songs like "Love", Viceroy's voice shifts back and forth between low tone singing and absolutely bombastic bursts of painful aggression. This is not during changes from bridges to choruses, but at somewhat random moments throughout the song. He's a truly gifted vocalist, although my hunch is he's someone difficult to control. Still, this bubbling rage is as appealing as anything coming out today.
As for the rest of the band, they are solid as can be. Lavender's name changed didn't change his ability to kick ass on guitar. His tone on songs like "Let Me Grow" are fat like an arena rock band, but fuzzed up enough to make any Kyuss fan applaud in appreciation. Drummer Dino Velvet has captured a big sound as well. He's an extremely hard hitter, which makes itself very apparent on "Let Me Grow" where he hits his tom like a drunk janitor would his wife who didn't have dinner on the table on time. As for Briscar, he still gets more mileage out of 4 strings and 1 finger than any bass player in the game!
PITRIFF RATING - 90/100 - They lose points for the cover "art", but ultimately this EP does it's job in making me want to hear more. Voodoo Brother have created a solid collection of songs that are appealing to any fan of bands like Down, COC, Queens of The Stone Age, Wilson, etc. That's a good sound to have!