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US Christmas: Bad Heart Bull (reissue)

Originally released in 2004, Bad Heart Bull is the debut album from US Christmas, or USX. The cult album was released earlier this month on Play The Assassin with proceeds going to The National Breast Cancer Foundation and The Oglala Sioux Tribe/Pine Ridge Reservation.

Stylistically, the music presented on this album is minimalistic, sludge informed alternative rock with a rough edge. After a dark acoustic intro, 'New War' a heavy and deliberately monotonous track that combines a sludgy feel with angry hardcore vocals kicks in and is followed by the dark instrumental 'Gallows Humor' which experiments with the combination of clean guitars and really noisy distorted guitars. The main ingredient in the dark doom-rocker 'Black Snake' is also repetition, but there still is a certain dynamic feel to the album, as it builds up and breaks down and builds up again. 'Walk Under' is another acoustic piece, but this time a mellow and melodic one to give the ears a rest before the massively doom-laden post-rock opus 'Lazarus'. 'Thin The Herd' is an uptempo southern blues rocker with the distortion upped to the nth degree and is probably my favorite track on this album. The closer 'Bad Heart Bull II' is nothing less than ten minutes of percussive soundscape.

Drawing on repetition and simple, but powerful, means of expression Bad Heart Bull is not for everyone. While those who like their music progressive and multifaceted probably will not like this album, fans of dark and introspective sludge-informed alternative rock are bound to absolutely love this album, which is really a work of arts just as much as a work of music.

Track listing:
1. Bad Heart Bull
2. New War
3. Gallows Humor
4. Black Snake
5. Walk Under
6. Lazarus
7. Thin the Herd
8. Bad Heart Bull II

Added: May 13th 2012
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: US Christmas @ MySpace
Hits: 1541
Language: english

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