Extended plays that cover the work of more than one album are generally put together as a cost-efficient way of getting multiple band’s music heard. This is a practice which over the years has seen some mixed results as often there is a clash of styles. Chapter 7: The Second Coming of Heavy pits two bands together from one umbrella genre, Stoner Rock, despite their backgrounds and influences being obviously quite different.
The thing that hit me about both bands was how sonically prolific they both are with each band being just three members strong yet able to compose some beguilingly loud music. Switchblade Jesus are definitely the more progressive of the two and certainly more technical with their chugging doom-esque riffs opening up to some very nice solo work. Fuzz Evil on the other have that desert rock groove and are equally as heavy hitting, but in a sweeter way, making it no surprise that they were handpicked to open for Eagles of Death Metal on a recent touring stint.
The first half of the EP is dominated by the Black Sabbath-inspired Switchblade Jesus, whose music sounds like the soundtrack to a cyclone or some other natural disaster – trust me that’s a good thing. The first track Heavy is the Mountain shows us the band are not going to shy away from beating the listener’s eardrums senseless. Clocking in at 7:26, it’s a hell of an introduction. before some sweet soloing and a riff reminiscent of High on Fire introduces us to the second track Snakes and Lions which continues this trend for a further five minutes of impressive catchy grooves. We’re then treated to some Gospel…yes that’s right, Gospel. Because why the hell wouldn’t you sample The Louvin Brothers on a metal song? It’s weird, it’s innovative and, funnily enough, as the song happens to be ‘Satan is Real’ it’s not all that out of place for a band who sounds like the personification of the devil horns. I like it. I also like the sample of Anthony Perkins’ famous quote from Psycho “We all go a little mad sometimes…” which occurs later in the track.
The second half of the EP is a bit more up tempo as Fuzz Evil kicks off their section with Better Off Alone, a track highly reminiscent of Rated R era Queens of the Stone Age. Graves and Cupids follows, the highlight of this track being a stellar solo incorporating the use of a talk box to great effect. If You Know showcases the band’s ability to create a memorable chorus with a nice hook and Flighty Women ends the EP with some excellent musicianship. With four of the seven tracks on the EP belonging to Fuzz Evil, they’ve held their weight with the juggernauts that preceded them. They definitely draw a lot of influence from The Stooges and fit right in with the desert rock sound. Even if there’s not much difference between themselves and other bands within their niche appeal, they’ve definitely got a good time sound and enough cojones to compete in their field.
Overall there’s no clear standout from this EP. What we have here is a nice little taster of each band which leaves the listener eager to hear more. Despite the contrasting tempos and the obvious difference in influences and credence, Switchblade Jesus and Fuzz Evil not entirely out of place together. They’re both heavy in their own right, just in different ways. The same goes for their openness to experiment with their music and not take themselves too seriously. Really both bands are ones to look out for and with a December 8th release date, Chapter 7 The Second Coming of Heavy should piqué the interest of anyone looking for some good stoner rock.