Alien In the Land of Our Birth were a forward thinking metal band from Nashville, Tennessee who were characterized by their erratic shows and their even more surreal music, which remained largely hidden from the public at large until their recordings were compiled onto a single CD years after the group was already dead and buried. They could be described as some bastardization of hardcore and thrash with progressive and unpredictable tendencies. One moment they're doing some funky ass sh
it, next it's droning psychedelic stuff, all of which done with the angular and strung-out psychosis that groups like Acid Bath or Today Is the Day could pull off as easily as they do.
Chances are that if you're reading this, you're likely already aware of the latter bands connection with this group. The only member who seemed to continue his musical career at all after Alien's dissolution (sadly) being drummer Brad Elrod, who clearly took a good chunk of the freakazoid aspects of Alien with him when he joined forces with local hot-headed free spirit Steve Austin. But I don't want to spend too much time going over him/them, because if you've listened to his work with Austin you already know he's a versatile monster who could completely change the song he's on with tempo shifts and epic fills. What needs to be stated was how insane the rest of Alien In the Land of Our Birth was. The chemistry they shared together was just immense, from the headbanger "Box", to the bouncy 4/4 clubfu
cker "Uranus", to the depraved slow burner "Life After Slayer", these guys just about could've pulled off anything.
Guitarist Billy Loffer could easily adapt to any style of music it seems as he could churn out bad ass riffs as well go all out funk on the aptly titled "The Jam". Bassist Leo Grandados doesn't have too much of the spotlight on himself, but he does manage to shine when it does land in his direction. The intro to "Uranus" is groovy and sticks out, and then there's that wonderfully mellow yet downtrodden arpeggio section he pulls out in "The Attitude Is the Message". This mishmash of sound is given a voice in the form of vocalist Scott Upshaw, and while he doesn't have the widest range (guy squeaks instead of screams it seems, and he can't really growl either) he does make it all up with a desperate conviction. "Life After Slayer" gives me shudders whenever I hear it, both due to his voice and his depraved lyrics.
A fair warning should be given to new listeners, as the production can be a turn off. The drums are way too loud in the mix and overpowers the comparably thin guitars often. For reference, think Morpheus Descend's Ritual of Infinity
album. That, and the vocals are drenched in reverb, which can get a bit grating at times. Though, it has its charm too. It really gives off the impression that Upshaw is just a lonely soul stuck inside the ever expanding cell of his own mind. Like on opening track "Box" when he asks us: "What do I do when I see good men kill themselves for PCP?" I don't even know, dude.