What we have here, people, is a pristine throwback to the good ol' hard rock of the Seventies, served up trio-style.
Spine For The Snapback follows up The PB Army's 2003 debut Inebriates, Equivocators and Mockers of the Devil Himself with forty-five more sixty-second intervals of angular stoner rock—with a little less sludge and a lot more pep than the average Fu Manchu or Kyuss wannabe, served up tender and juicy.
According to the band's updated bio, drummer and vocalist Keith Bergman suffered an aortic aneurysm that required emergency surgery, but that's water under the bridge and recording of Spine For The Snapback was resumed last year after a time-out. Yes, Bergman is the band's vocalist, leaving guitarist Micah Shimborske and bassist Mahlon Orrin to stir things up at stage left and stage right (for the record, they don't sing). Shimborske's tone is fantastic but tends to overlap Orrin's in spots. Plenty of sonic dust is strewn about, and comparisons to the pioneers of desert stoner rock seem a bit rushed; I hear more of Thin Lizzy, Trapeze and UFO—and even a little Fastway—than The Obsessed or (the hugely overrated) Queens of the Stone Age. Leadoff track "Trouble In The Woodshed" is a foot-stomper but "Dying On The Starting Line" is the album's first true gem; either that or "Moderation" make a good single. Bergman's vocals are clean most of the time and cut through the haze of guitar and bass like a diamond, but he does resort to death metal silliness on "Bringing A Knife To The Gunfight" for a moment (the "clean" verses are pretty tasty). Considering the uptempo detours Bergman flies into on his kit, it's astonishing he sings live at the same time! "The Five Nines" has a more alternative feel, while its opening lines are interesting enough: I measure love for you in geologic time/One of those curves so vast it looks like a line/I calculate success at ninety nine point nine nine nine.
Fans of hard rock, classic metal, stoner rock, and even grunge and other sub-subgenres that don't come to mind at this writing: The PB Army is up-and-a-coming! And according to the website, the band will still play your backyard for sandwiches and beer!
1. Trouble In The Woodshed
2. A Hole In The New Leaf
3. Dying On The Starting Line
5. Viva Los Alamos
6. Martyr Bound
7. Bringing A Knife To The Gunfight
9. The Five Nines
10. A Temporary Absence
11. Ate A Lie
Total time – 44:59