Weedeater returns on the fifth month, in the year of our lord, 2015. Christ has been dead for a while now, and with no sign of him returning any time soon, the boys from down South decided to have their way with this world.
Coming off the heels of Jason... The Dragon's stoned meandering and experimentation, it wasn't immediately clear how Weedeater would proceed. In a sentence: Goliathan is a little here, and a little there. There's moments where the music feels staler than month old sourdough, and equally as many moments of pure Southern aggression.
Similar to their previous release, the first half of the album feels a little off. There's a pattern that the band seems to be developing, and it goes something like this: Opener, relatively forgettable tracks, strange interlude, pure sonic bliss (read: welcome to hell, motherf*ckers). Goliathan dishes this formula out in aces.
Of course, in true Weedeater fashion, even these moments are delivered with a healthy dose of humor. 'Processional' kicks off the album with a bizarre mix of what sounds to be an electric organ and slide guitar, with Dixie Collins making his album debut by proclaiming 'I really hate your face." From here on out, you know what you're getting yourself into. 'Goliathan' is a plodding track, conjuring specters of doom and destruction, of ancient things that may never die, waiting to unleash their terror once again across the surface of the earth.
Unfortunately, there are also tracks like 'Bow Down' or, better but still bland, 'Cain Enabler. To put it bluntly, they don't really grip me. Whereas 'Goliathan' kept the tension up throughout the track, both of the aforementioned cuts seem a bit aimless and unnecessary. More than filler, but less than great. Maybe that's why the band decided to throw these songs towards the front of the album.
But then again, maybe a little sacrifice is necessary to stumble into those flaming gates, and after a hilarious banjo mid-album cut, 'Battered & Fried', the band punches in for the rest of the album, and you better keep up.
'Claw of the Sloth' and 'Joseph (All Talk)' are some of the best tracks Weedeater has put out. Their signature Southern grooves bury any misgivings I had about the album. The second half of Goliathan is pure, sludgy beatdowns. Blending both more nimble riff writing from their last album, and crushing, relentless brutality and pacing from their older material, these songs are some grade-A cuts.
'Bully,' is a punky two-minute track, blazing a path to the final offerings on the album. 'Benediction' is a smoke-filled psychedelic-drenched jam song, perfectly capping off the album. Strangely, this is one of the tracks I enjoyed the most off the album. It would be great to hear more of this from Weedeater.
All-in-all, Goliathan is a bit underwhelming. Don't get me wrong, I dig it and it's sure to become a staple of my sludge-loving mp3 player, but it feels like Jason... Round Two at times. The difference being, where Jason... always pulls me back again, I don't get that same urge to redose with this album. Maybe that will change with time.
That aside, if you like Weedeater, you'll enjoy this record. There's some damn good songs to be found on Goliathan. Hell, maybe even reading through this review (or writing it for that matter) is taking this all too seriously. I doubt that these guys will ever care about what anyone writes about them, and maybe that's why I love them so much. This album finds Weedeater comfortable doing what they do, and serving up their fans another brutal slab of their signature Southern sludge. Give this album a spin!