audiObelisk: Iron Tongue Premiere “7 Days” from The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown Neurot Recordings Debut
Those looking for similarities between Iron Tongue‘s full-length debut, The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown, and frontman Chris “CT” Terry‘s work in post-doomers Rwake will find them few and far between — but not completely absent. Terry is joined in the Little Rock, Arkansas-based six-piece by backing vocalist Stephanie Smittle, guitarists Jason Tedford and Mark Chiaro, bassist Andy Warr and drummer Stan James and he brings to his approach a style of clean-sung but still throaty shouts, at times veering toward that bottom-of-the-mouth soul that Phil Anselmo brought to Down II, but as on the centerpiece “Moon Unit,” he finds his own personality within the material as well. Pacing also helps — Skynyrd by way of Crowbar — and where so much Southern heavy is bent on ZZ Top riffs rehashed at double-speed, Iron Tongue keep their grooves slow, coupling Tedford and Chiaro‘s trodden guitar work with organ textures and Warr‘s consuming low end.
But for the earlier “Witchery” — distinguished by the line, “The cocaine has a lock on my brain,” which opens the chorus — and the stomping finale “Said ‘n’ Done,” most of The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown keep the workingman’s downer feel set by opener “Ever After,” Smittle‘s vocals coming on in layers to introduce a key element in Iron Tongue‘s approach: the band’s unabashed penchant for melody. They could’ve easily started the record with a rager, but if the title wasn’t enough of a hint, they clearly wanted to make it plain that there’s more to what they do than redundant burl and dudely posturing in songs about drinking. So be it. Likewise, the penultimate cut on The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown, “7 Days,” summarizes much of the record’s emotionality before the final rush of “Said ‘n’ Done,” nestling into a mid-paced groove over which Terry delivers some of his most effective work, answered in the chorus by Smittle to result in one of the best hooks present throughout.
Obviously Terry‘s tenure in Rwake is going to earn at least a mention when it comes to Iron Tongue‘s work, but the album — cumbersomely titled as it is — makes no bones about establishing its own context and working on its own merits in establishing an atmosphere and constructing a genuine sonic breadth out of slow riffs, organic production, Southern woes and heaviness that goes beyond the tonal. As a piece of the whole, I think “7 Days” represents these aspects well, and I’m thrilled to be able to premiere the track on the player below.
The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown is due out May 28 in North America (day before in Europe) on Neurot Recordings. Please enjoy:
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Iron Tongue‘s debut, The Dogs Have Barked, the Birds Have Flown, was recorded at Jason Tedford‘s Wolfman Studios by Billy Anderson. More info at the following links:
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