BONGZILLA
"Amerijuanican"

(Relapse)

01. Amerijuanican
02. Kash Under Glass
03. Tri-Pack Master
04. Cutdown
05. Weedy Woman
06. Stonesphere
07. Champagne & Reefer

RATING: 7/10

Give me bands like WEEDEATER and BONGZILLA any day of the week and I'll slurp up those over-amplified, down-tuned fuzz tones, scarred-throat vocals, and sludgified mania like a jailed militant who just ended a hunger strike. I didn't know that WEEDEATER vocalist/bassist Dixie Dave Collins had contributed his four-string volume terror to "Amerijuanican" until I received the promotional copy from Relapse. It's a match made in Hemp Heaven, I tell ya!

On "Amerijuanican", BONGZILLA sticks to what they know. It was easy for me to pick up where I left off with "Gateway" and slide right into the new resin-coated disc. It's more of what you've come to expect from the Madison, Wisconsin green machine. However, I did detect a bit more groove on this one, as tracks like "Kash Under Glass" and "Tri-Pack Master" hooked me sooner. I realized later that part of the immediacy (if you can call it that) of the album comes from the fact that there are no movie samples, perhaps forcing more focus on the music. After utilizing many cool clips on "Gateway", it does seem odd to not use a single one on "Amerijuanican", though it doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of difference to me one way or the other. On the other hand, how many times have you heard the sounds of bong gurgles and coughing on any number of stoner metal albums? A trippy, extended jam called "Stonesphere" has plenty of them, but hey, it's BONGZILLA we're talking about here. Following that brain-melting experience, the album ends with a rendition of Muddy Waters' "Champagne & Reefer", complete with a lyrical zigzag through a universe of the sweet, the sticky, and the bubbly. Marrying the Delta blues with doom and its offshoots is nothing new and it damn near always works, just like it does here.

When it comes to BONGZILLA, it's usually a love 'em or hate 'em proposition. If you've already made up your mind, "Amerijuanican" will not change it. [Insert your pro-herb closing statement here].

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