…Well, I should be honest. I listened to about half of Blue Record by Baroness before getting bored and deciding to shut it off and watch this week’s episode of House on the DVR. Fact is, it’s not even that bad, or bad at all, really, I just don’t like peer pressure. The Onion rated it as one of the best metal albums of the decade, it’s Decibel‘s album of the year; hell, I don’t think I’ve seen a list yet without it showing up somewhere. That’s a surefire way to turn me off.
Not to mention the pretentiousness of the thing — but I can get down with all kinds of self-indulgence in the right context, so that can’t really be an issue, can it? I guess it’s just something contrary in my nature. Just me being a dick. I own every release Baroness has put out to date. Standing in Snake Eyes Vinyl in Austin, TX, I remember vividly saying to myself, “Well, I don’t really like these guys, but maybe I will at some point, so I better buy this stuff.” That was the First and Second EPs. Then they put out Red Album and it sounded like watered-down Mastodon to me. Blue Record sounds like watered-down Mastodon that’s bought into its own press and everyone exclaiming its genius. I’ve yet to find a reason to care.
But I’m obviously in the minority as regards the band, as critics the world over have been making their shorts sticky to Blue Record since its release in October. Maybe it’s a generational thing. I’ll allow for that. But I like Torche, so it’s not like I’m against the new/hip school entirely. With Baroness though sometimes it feels like people are just kissing their ass so they can get guitarist/vocalist John Dyer Baizley to do the art for their band’s album. His art does rule, and I like guitarist Pete Adams in Valkyrie and bassist Summer Welch in Birds of Prey, so even the component parts of Baroness are inoffensive, it’s just the whole I don’t dig. Blue Record, which will probably get one or two more chances to do so before disappearing to the nether regions of shelf space , has yet to change my mind. Maybe I’ve missed the point.
Tags: Baroness, Georgia, Relapse