Acid Bath
Paegan Terrorism Tactics



by sickjesus USER (8 Reviews)
February 19th, 2008 | 76 replies

Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Post-grunge that doesn't suck!

Before you run screaming for your math-rock CDs, hear me out: this is post-grunge with a twist. Coming from the fertile musical background of New Orleans Louisiana, birthplace of metal colossi such as Crowbar and Corrosion of Conformity, you know it’s not going to be candyass lightweight fluff in the same vein as the slew of Nirvana-wannabes who rode St. Kurt’s plaid shirt-tails to semi-fame in the mid nineties.

The Players
Dax Riggs - Vocals
Sammy Pierre Duet - Guitar, backing screams
Mike Sanchez - Guitar
Audie Pitre - Bass, backing screams
Jimmy Kyle - Drums

This disc takes the quiet/loud dynamics and pained vocals on which grunge was founded and slathers the whole deal in a thick layer of good ol’ NOLA sludge - a heady brew incorporating a whole spectrum of metal from doom to death. Bleed Me an Ocean and Venus Blue, to name but two, recall a less-shitty Creed in their soaring choruses and maudlin verses, happily avoiding Scott Stapp and co’s grating over-sincerity thanks to the charisma which vocalist Dax Riggs injects into his delivery. The Acid Bath sound is also much heavier, retaining the genre’s punkish energy, but actually incorporating a fair degree of musicianship into the equation.

Everything about this album refines and expands upon the good points of the band’s prior effort, 1994’s When the Kite String Pops. The hard songs are leaner and nastier: every riff bristles and snarls like a pack of rottweilers being channelled through Sammy and Mike’s amps. At the same time, the softer songs are crafted with more panache, and in general a great deal more variety is on display – where Kite String’s Scream of the Butterfly stuck out like a sore thumb as a result of its incongruously mellow vibe, PTT is littered with more reflective moments, as on the fantastic Graveflower and the funereal grind of New Death Sensations.

Elsewhere, Locust Spawning utilises tribal drums and some kind of weird strobe effect to create an impressively oppressive wall of noise, while acoustic closer Dead Girl features some nifty quasi-classical guitar interplay between Sammy and Mike. At eleven tracks and around fifty minutes in length, PTT also doesn’t drag like the somewhat bloated, seventy-minute Kite String tended to. In addition, Dax doesn’t scream as much as he did on Kite String: this is ultimately a good thing, as it would be a travesty if he ruined his distinctive clean singing voice. Though potentially highly divisive due to its bizarre timbre, it is undoubtedly one of the band’s strongest assets, imbuing every passage with a strong sense of individuality.

Alas, the same can’t be said of his lyrics. Generally sitting uncomfortably in the grey area between yawnsome pot-head mysticism (Old Skin) and clichéd razorblade/needle/graves/whatever imagery (everything else), they occasionally veer into the realm of the childish and just plain lame: “I scream, you scream, everybody scream for morphine” (Paegan Love Song) and “I’m shitting this cold death” (Venus Blue) being two such gems. Even so, the superbly soulful inflections in his vocals go a long way towards covering up the often-laughable nature of what he’s actually singing; the sparse instrumentation of Dead Girl foregrounds this aspect especially well.

Depending on who you ask, Acid Bath’s demise was brought about either by bassist Audie’s 1997 death in a car crash, or the fact that the band - particularly Dax - were chronic meth freaks. In either case, it’s a shame that they had to self-destruct, as on this evidence they were maybe an album or two away from true greatness, and perhaps even a modicum of commercial success. The disappointing trad-blues direction taken by Riggs on his second solo disc, last year’s We Sing Only of Blood or Love, serves only to emphasise the fact that he got it right first time with Acid Bath.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
February 19th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Bah, i was planning on reviewing this, but you beat me to it.

This album rocks, but i don't agree with a lot of your descriptions and comparisons

February 19th 2008


I don't get your use of the term 'post-grunge'.

February 19th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

yeah i should probably clarify that. i was kinda thinking in terms of Bush/Staind/Creed, where they actively try to sound like Nirvana and Pearl Jam with the affected vocals and songwriting style and whatnot. whether or not that's classifiable as post-grunge i don't know, genre classifications are a pain in the ass and that maybe wasn't the best basis for this review. but whatever, there it is.

February 19th 2008


Wow, that was a very well written review. Though I can't comment on the material description from your review (because I've never heard of these guys until now), you have made me very curious about their music. This will most certainly be put on my priority list of albums to listen to. Once again, I enjoyed the concise review!

February 19th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I really don't like the word grunge. Nirvana, AIC, Pearl Jam, STP, Soundgarden- all can be classified as grunge, none of which sound alike.

I would call these guys Southern Sludge/Doom metal.

And i can't believe you brought up Scott Stapp.

Now that i've said that- Great album- everyone on Sputnik should worship these guys by next week.

February 20th 2008


A coworker loves these guys. He played a lil bit for me and all I remember is schitzophrenic doomish metal that would go acoustic all of the sudden. I might look further into this since it made it on Sputnik.

February 20th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I don't know if "post-grunge" really captures what they sound like, though I get the point because I've had this album for ages. From an outsiders view, they're probably going to get the wrong impression. I agree with most of what you say, but have a huge sentimental attachment to it because of a room mate of mine that passed away. We used to rock this in those wee hours of the morning when things were a little weird if you get my meaning.

February 20th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

This is the only acid bath album I have heard. Its pretty good, I don't really see what the big deal is about these guys though.

I saw Dax Open up for QoTSA last years... YAWN

February 20th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

yeah, he's not so great when he's on his own

February 22nd 2008


I thought that was a great review, but i gotta disagree with you about the lyrics I think that the non literal lyrics fit with the music better than anything else would. I mean I cant imagine anything else fitting in withthe musical style.

December 6th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

I enjoy this greatly.

December 6th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

I remember the first time that I heard "Paegan Love Song" I was instantly hooked. This is a great record. I wouldn't really call this grunge, this is a metal record with some rock tendencies. And I mean Dax's clean voice can be lumped into that style of singing, but he still has his own style. Also, I think We Only Sing of Blood and Love is a great record.

April 21st 2010


this rules

April 21st 2010


I've only got When The Kite String Pops, but it's awesome. Plan on listening to this soon.

May 13th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this > when the kite string pops

July 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 3.5


July 3rd 2010



July 3rd 2010


fuck yes

July 3rd 2010


need this so bad

July 25th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

Got rec'd this a couple months ago by my grandmother's co-worker no less; just now getting around to listening. Nice stuff. Don't know why they never found mainstream success, accessible and has a lot of replay value.

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