Music News

Pearls and Brass

The stoner-rock movement should be deader than Felix Pappalardi by now. After all, the music was pretty dopey when it was new (back during the Lyndon Johnson administration). Yet the slothful tempos, leviathan riffs and echo-laden caterwauling that have long distinguished the form can still inspire anti-intellectual awe, especially when irony isn't among the prime ingredients -- and with Pearls and Brass, it's not. Based in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, a no-crap town if ever there was one, vocalist/guitarist Randy Huth, singer/bassist Joel Martin and drummer Josh Martin turn The Indian Tower, their latest Drag City release, into a fearsome sonic obelisk that more than lives up to the heaviness of song titles such as "The Face of God." Not that words are particularly key. Far more important are such passages as the guitar-heavy instrumental section in "Pray for Sound," a song capable of making headbangers get down on their knees and give thanks that Pearls and Brass, which shares this bill with Atomic Bitchwax, Krakatau and Horns, is keeping the stoner genre alive.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts