Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Tournament - "Years Old"

Despite the mundane name and ho-hum artwork that accompanies Tournament’s Years Old, a fairly enjoyable slathering of loose hardcore, stoner rock and classic metal is strung together, and is done so seemingly effortlessly.

Toying with equal parts My War-era Black Flag and the occasionally sludgy stomp of Black Sabbath, Tournament arrives at a modern-day parallel somewhere between Neurosis and Akimbo. And given that High Times reviews their music, it’s fairly easy to understand Tournament’s place in the music realm.

With a lively 1-2 (err, rather 2-3) punch of “Intake Controller” and “Washcloth,” Tournament gets things going early on Years Old. They eventually slow considerably with the sludgy “Smokelore” and the instrumental “From the Mouths of Non-Believers,” but at least it gets the LP off on the right foot. The lyrics are indecipherable and not printed with the digipak, but some of the song titles like “Snuff News” and “Good, thanks. You?” are pretty amusing.

“Big Box Opportunity” is a primal bone-crusher with big riffs, rolling toms and ear-piercing wails. The closer “All this light is getting in my ears” is creepy and sinister, and builds an overall ethereal atmosphere, though lingers a bit long at five-and-a-half minutes.

Even for those who aren't interested in getting stoned or the music it inspires, Tournament’s Years Old is certainly a decent effort. It drones, roars and hurls back and forth providing some interesting compositions held together by slurred rhythms and thundering riffs that only let up when the time is right.

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