Youngblood Supercult - ‘The Great American Death Rattle’ (DHU Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gerald Stansbury   
Monday, 28 August 2017 04:30

Youngblood Supercult artwork I was asked a month or two ago to check out this band by a friend and like a lot of what I had heard on YouTube. I made a note of when this album was going to be released and looked forward to hearing it. The album, their third, has just been released and will likely garner them a lot of new fans along the way. Unfortunately, I cannot compare it to the previous two as I have not heard them.


The band combine several elements and influences to create a pretty unique sound that at times comes across as classic 70’s blues rock put through a doom filter and then has dollops of soul added throughout it while also injecting some grunge. That may sound like a strange concoction, but it works beautifully.


The title track opener sets the tone with some wavy bass by Brad Morris before the blues riff on the guitar starts. It feels like I have just been dropped into the middle of a concert in the 70ss. David Merrill’s vocals immediately shine with soul and emotion. On some levels, this would be right at home on ‘Spine of God’ by Monster Magnet as it really does make the mind want to open and just explore the psyche. ‘Burning Messiah’ begins with a heavier riff by Bailey Smith and includes some other worldly vocals by Merrill. This is a five-minute heavy groover that musically would not be out of place on a Down album.


‘Draugr’ mellows the album slightly with the guitar dropping largely out on the verse which provides some extra crunch as the song hits the pre-chorus and chorus. Weston Alford’s work on the drums is to be commended as he provides a terrific foundation. The transformation the song takes on the guitar solo is excellent and really works well to set up the following song ‘Wormwood.’ The up-tempo rocker allows some more diversity within the band’s sound. Referencing my earlier journey into the psyche, this part of the journey injects an adrenalin rush as the guitar hooks and vocals etch their way into the brain.



The midway point of the album hits with ‘The Hot Breath of God’ featuring a mid-tempo beat and riff that again finds Morris’ bass work hitting all the right notes. ‘Master of None’ sees the entire band crashing in at once and would be right at home on a NWOBHM compilation as everything about it makes me think this band found a time machine. The solo by Bailey Smith once again is a highlight and makes me want to explore the band’s back catalog. This becomes even more pressing on ‘Mr. Gallows’ where the guitar paints the scene under Merrill’s Alice in Chains-esque vocals through the verse build. The journey through the mind continues throughout the song and highlights that this album demands attention. This should not be an album for background music; it is an album that needs time and a listener’s full attention to truly enjoy.


‘Liberty of Death’ quickens the pace again and would not be out of place on a Pepper era COC album. I am not sure who produced the album as I did an itunes download and did not find it online. I know it was recorded by Jon Pederzani and mixed by Pederzani and Joel Nanos. They did a great job of allowing the music to breathe with the crunch and the fuzz never overpowering the song but also providing heaviness throughout the album. Closer ‘Sticky Fingers’ ramps up the heaviness again before Smith’s solo starts to remind me that I need to start my exit from the psyche. The twisted end of the solo is a beautiful conclusion to a sonic journey.


Youngblood Supercult from Topeka, Kansas have released an album that begs to be played again, and also leaves me wanting to hear their past albums. ‘The Great American Death Rattle’ may end up in my Top 15 or Top 20 albums of the year - although repeated listening may have it claim a spot even higher than that as I know this album will continue to grow with repeated listens. There are several initial hooks, but each song presents additional ones with continued listens. If you dig any of the bands I have mentioned, The Obsessed, or any of the desert rock bands like Kyuss, I would recommend giving this album a listen when you can spend some time with it.


‘The Great American Death Rattle’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.


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