Alabama Thunderpussy

Picture of Alabama Thunderpussy

Rise Again

Alabama Thunderpussy - Rise Again ©1998 Man's Ruin
1. Falling Behind
2. Victory Through Defeat
3. Folk Lore
4. Lord's Prayer
5. Get Mad / Get Even
6. When Mercury Drops
7. Ivy
8. Speaking In Tongues
9. Jackass
10. Alto Vista
11. Podium
12. Fever 103
13. Dixie

If nothing else, Alabama Thunderpussy may have one of the more memorable names in the field of "stoner rock". The band was actually based in Virginia, not Alabama, and it's unknown if the latter half of their moniker was the result of proximity to a feline with explosive flatulence. Wikipedia offers no insight into this matter. Anyhow, Alabama Thunderpussy's debut Rise Again set the stage for the band's heavy, riff drive approach to rock, featuring loping songs and an emphasis on groove. And in fact, they do a fine job of this throughout the album, though they don't display a whole lot of variation between the songs. Moreover, after awhile, one starts to get the feeling they only knew how to play one thing at the time and just made a whole album based on that single groove. That's not to say the album doesn't have its moments. In fact, "Podium" and "Fever 103", despite no change in the dynamics between the two songs, are very enjoyable. Rise Again is often not too far off from the desert rock of Kyuss, except Johnny Throckmorton's vocals are gruff and within a very limited range.

Insofar as these heavy groove rock/Southern rock/stoner metal bands go, Alabama Thunderpussy actually is a notch above many of generic bands within the style. I think my biggest beef with this album is the cover glorifying the Confederacy and the implication that somehow the South might be improved had they won the Civil War. Honestly, whenever I see Confederate images, I think of the racist aspects of the South where slavery and segregation were prominent. Is this what Alabama Thunderpussy condones? At the very least, these sort of images suggest NASCAR fans and that's not a good association either. In 2004, Relapse reissued this record and wisely created different cover art.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2011

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Staring At The Divine

Alabama Thunderpussy - Staring At The Divine ©2002 Relapse
1. Ol' Unfaithful
2. Motor-ready
3. Shapeshifter
4. Whore Adore
5. Hunting By Echo
6. Beck And Call
7. Twilight Arrival
8. Esteem Fiend
9. S.S.D.D.
10. Amounts That Count

The realm of "stoner rock" is a very terrifying affair. With the glut of bands that have surfaced in the past four years or so, only a few actually elevate their music to the point of being worth hearing. However, the process of weeding out the chaff is often tedious. Luckily, there are bands such as the charmingly named Alabama Thunderpussy who offer something that is worth searching out.

Staring at the Divine is the band's fourth full-length release and their first for Relapse. The ten song effort offers a sound that is very familiar but revitalized with a dose of great songwriting and energy put forth by Alabama Thunderpussy. The band exists in the same heavy rock'n'groove territory as Sweden's Spiritual Beggars and plunders forth in the mode of a straight-forward, non-goofball Clutch. There are also hints of Acid Bath (particularly in the moody, pensive feel of "Twilight Arrival", by far one of the most enjoyable songs on the CD). The production allows the guitarists plenty of grit and dirt for their distortion, while not being the least bit muddy. Moreover, their ability to intertwine crunchy, thick slabs of groovy rhythm tracks with very solid leads makes Alabama Thunderpussy's music much more intriguing and compelling than many of their counterparts. The band is able to both sound well produced and dirty, which means they can avoid that death knell of being overproduced or slick.

Staring at the Divine, much to my surprise, is one heck of a good heavy rock album. There is still quite a bit left to this area of music, as Alabama Thunderpussy demonstrates, and for those into the style, this is one of the best releases I've heard in quite some time.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2002

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