DIRT WOMAN — The Glass Cliff (review)

DIRT WOMAN — The Glass Cliff album cover Album · 2020 · Stoner Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
DIRT WOMAN is a newer stoner metal band from Ocean City, Maryland from a state that has had more than its fair share of stoner / doom metal bands (think Spirit Caravan,The Hidden Hand, Earthride, Obsessed). Featuring the lineup of Avery Mallon (drums), Kearny Mallon (guitar) and Gabe Solomon (guitar), it’s the addition of female lead singer and guitarist Zoe Koch that sets DIRT WOMAN apart from most similar minded stoner doomers.

There are a few instant reactions to this band and its debut album THE GLASS CLIFF. First of all, lame band name but cool cover art. Not sure what bands are thinking when they come up with completely unremarkable monikers but perhaps they were all stoned! Hehe! Whatever the case, DIRT WOMAN really knows how to crank out some high octane fuzz fueled guitar riffage laced with plodding rhythmic drives and monotonous and oft hypnotic spacey effects.

Of the five tracks that almost engulf an hour of your life, three race well past the thirteen minute mark so what you can expect on THE GLASS CLIFF is a series of receptive bass grooves that slowly cascade of accompanying guitar riffs that vary from soft echoey highlights to full-on distortion and din making raucous. While set back in the mix, Zoe Koch’s vocal style still emits a distinct feminine vibe as if some high priestess was piercing the veil to offer advice from another dimension only reached through licking toads or something.

With twin guitar action stampeding throughout the album’s run, DIRT WOMAN is heavy like Electric Wizard but also has touches of Black Sabbath inspired riffs and other traditional doom metal stalwarts like Saint Vitus but everything resonates in a reverberant fuzz-drenched fury more like Sleep’s classic stoner metal meltdowns. The strength of the album is its apparent study of the craft and it doesn’t deviate from the stoner metal norms which after a near hour’s worth of stoner fuzz also is its downfall as the tracks become monotonous.

While there are just enough variables to keep THE GLASS CLIFF from generating the more tiresome ennui, the 13 minute tracks do churn on a bit too long for their own good. Out of the lot, my favorite is the closing “Starhawk” which offers the most melodic variations of the album as well as showcasing Koch’s vocal style beyond a droning shout through the din. While i can’t say DIRT WOMAN is on my list of favorite up and coming bands, i have to say at least that this band’s debut full-length THE GLASS CLIFF is an enjoyable listen although drowned in the sea of similarly minded acts that are a tad more exciting.
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