On the Radar: Hazzard’s Cure

Try as hard as this bastard of a planet has for the last 30-odd years, there has yet to arise a suitable substitute for thrash riffing. Everything metal has done since, from the lumbering plod of doom to the chugga-chugga dissonance of Meshuggah-derived djent, has never been able to quite tap into the same primal malevolence as a downward sloping thrash riff (though, arguably, they each have their own brand of devilry to them). Oakland, California, four-piece Hazzard’s Cure made their debut this fall with a self-titled CD and tape recorded by Greg Wilkinson of Brainoil, and as much as there are elements brought in from black metal and beer-worshiping guitar onslaughts, at its core, it almost can’t help but be a thrash album.

Before the big slowdown in the first half of closer “Great Dishonor,” Hazzard’s Cure recklessly make their way through seven tracks of blistering metal, and though I’m (predictably) more into the mid-paced groove of “Meet Me at the Mountain” than the broken-bottle blackness of “Psilocybin,” the band maintains a consistent appeal throughout, nodding at dirt metal and High on Fire and keeping a sense of fuckall behind even the mostly-clean vocal of “Clashing of Hordes.” Battle metal? A little bit, but more in that post-Matt Pike “heavy equals battle axes” lyrical mindset than any sort of grandeur in the production, despite that song’s acoustic part.

Several of the songs in Hazzard’s Cure‘s midsection bleed into each other, including “Meet Me at the Mountain” into “Tossed and Dethroned” and that song into “Clashing of Hordes,” which likewise flows easily into “Wolves’ Banquet,” and while I don’t know for sure if one is there, it’s easy enough to read a narrative into the structure of at least part of the album. I wouldn’t speculate as to how it translates onto cassette, but Hazzard’s Cure (whose lineup features members of Walken and Owl) mix genres fluidly and come out of it with something more their own than it might seem on first listen, so I thought it was worth putting the tracks from the record up in case anyone wanted to check them out.

These come courtesy of the Hazzard’s Cure page on Bandcamp. You can also check out the band’s website, if you’re so inclined. Thrash on:

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