Although they built this city on blues ‘n BBQ, I can’t really think of any good music that’s come out of Memphis in the past 30 years or so. So when I heard about this heavy duo Namazu, I was certainly intrigued. Not to be confused with the Aussie drone duo (or the equally Aussie death metal quintet) of the same name, this outfit takes its moniker from Japanese mythology, while its riffs sometimes sound like they’re coming from across the pond—Sweden, to be precise.
Works Cited starts off with a three-and-a-half-minute number called “Bactine” that sounds like pure Truckfighters worship, even in the vocal department. But rather than running out of fuel, Namazu stretches things out with “Gunwhale,” a slightly mellower, but equally Swedish-sounding tune, with perhaps an added dash of Red Fang. “Dragged Fighting from His Tomb” actually has a bit of an Iron Maiden vibe, despite having just one guitarist, with a riff slightly reminiscent of “Fear of the Dark.”
“The Sportswriter” is more of a noise-rock number a la Big Business. I was intrigued by the lyrics, but it sounds like they’ve got nothing to do with the Grizzlies. “Waterwalkers” also has a bit more of a jagged edge, clocking in just shy of six minutes, before “Bright Boy” brings things back toward Sweden by way of Fu Manchu, with maybe a Metallica riff thrown in for good measure. By contrast, the two-and-a-half-minute “Kootenai” pretty much screams Red Fang, or even Black Wizard, for that matter.
In any case, this album was able to capture my attention for a full 40 minutes—about the time it takes me to polish off a couple racks of ribs. 😉