More of a shot in the arm than a shot in the foot, Jason…The Dragon is the North Carolina sludge-monster’s fourth album and it pretty much picks up where their last release, God Speed And Good Luck, left off. Like its predecessor, its core is composed of the heaviest, brain-crushing dissonance. Fat bass collides with guitar strikes that seem to decompose the millisecond they are released. If you were being unfair, you’d say it sounded like a never-ending row of farting cows; you can almost picture their wet pats hitting and sliding down the walls in great thick clumps. Then, as before, amongst doom-laden rock plods like “Hammerhandle”, “Long Gone” or “Turkey Warlock” you’ll suddenly come across gentle, acoustic country-boy numbers like “Whiskey Creek” bloated with plucking banjo and the sound of pouring rain or the abhorrent needle clicks and insanely burbling vocal of the repetitious “Palms of Opium”; tracks that seem diametrically opposed to their neighbors. This isn’t so much sludge as it is stoner rock blasted through with noise, as much country as it is doom-infected Americana.
“Mancoon” is definitely a highlight, rich with rumbling drums and gurgling riffage; the tone may be disconcertingly unvarying, but the chorus will be enough to get even the coldest of souls nodding gently along. That and the false-starting slow build of the thundering title-track with its scathing vocal delivering comedically blunt lyrics (“I’m right behind you, you smell like fuck”) are enough to make this an album worth holding onto.
Having said that, you’ll find as you progress through, that it all appears very difficult to get to grips with, like they’ve been smoking one of their song-titles, and yet the full extent of its eccentricities (don’t even get me started on the befuddling hidden track) only become apparent once the final piece locks into place. Even without this filler material (ahem) shooting itself in the foot, the running-time would be a little mean. It may not be the prettiest of albums then but, trust me, it’ll grow on you. That’s not to say you’ll end up loving it like one of your own. Jason…The Dragon is quite possibly the redneck second cousin you think is quite cool, but are never allowed to speak of.
Also online @ The NewReview (with track samples) = http://thenewreview.net/reviews/weedeater-jason-the-dragon