I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I’m a sucker for some good ol’ southern-style sludge metal. Actually, when I reviewed Forming the Void’s new record outta Lafayette, Louisiana, one of those dudes got in touch with me, and mentioned this other local outfit called Vermillion Whiskey that sounded much more like Crowbar, Down and COC. So when their new EP landed in my inbox not long afterwards, I reckon I might could give’r a listen… or something like that. 😉
Spirit of Tradition serves up six tracks in 29 minutes that go down smooth like Dixie Beer. “Road King” kicks ‘er off, a driving, straight-ahead southern-rock number in the vein of King Giant, Diablo Red or Wasted Theory. “The Past is Dead” drops the tempo with some low ‘n slow Crowbar-style breakdowns, before settling into a more mid-paced, laid-back NOLA groove. This one wouldn’t sound entirely outta place on the last couple Down records.
“Come Find Me” is a slowly-building southern boogie-rock number with some chunky, crunchy verse riffs and a smoother, chewier chorus. Again, King Giant, Wo Fat or maybe even Borracho could conceivably cover this—it checks all the boxes. “Monolith” is a slower, heavier number with some great grooves. There’s a few tempo changes on this one, but it sounds best when they play it slowest. The solo on this song makes you wanna hold up yer Zippo and scream “Free Bird!”
Likewise, there’s a bit of Skynyrd in “One Night,” while “Loaded Up” is more along the lines of a slow, depressing drinking song than an up-tempo anthem. Not that there’s anything wrong with drinking alone…