Graveyard Lights Out

[Nuclear Blast; 2012]

Styles: stoner doom blues metal
Others: Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Hawkwind, Witchcraft

I have an extremely divided opinion of Lights Out and of Graveyard in general. On one hand, it raises questions: Where does pastiche take creative form, and when does it water down aesthetics of the represented genre (in this case, a sort of doom-metal subversion)? Where does the expression of influences lose the ability to translate, and where does rehashing begin? On the other, I catch myself unknowingly enjoying Lights Out whenever I quit trying to overtly “listen” to it. So to aide my thought process, I decided to clone myself and then discuss the album over drinks. The transcript below is a paraphrasing of the ideas presented, as to save you, the reader, from reading drunken reiterations and logic circles.

[A cheers of glasses, complemented by a high five on a successful cloning job well done]

Me #1: (Something about apprehensiveness before the first listen of Lights Out and the notion of bands like Pentagram, Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, and various 70s influences being rehashed more than channeled, also known as “Wolfmother syndrome.”)

Me #2: (Something about preconceptions shaping one’s listening and the idea that Graveyard is not so much direct rehashing, but also not the most progressive in their translation. Very good in working with a broad “heavy” genre. Examples: Do the heavy/stoner-y thing well, wonderfully awful lyrics, a tighter pop framework, with a five-minute song at the longest, guitar shredding without excessive showmanship or ironic distancing.)

#1: (Accepting of ability to work within the genre, with apprehension toward English blues rock influences, a sort of middlebrowing of doom metal, the idea that accessibility somewhat loses expressive power)

#2: (An acknowledgment, but a disagreement, as heaviness, or insular accessibility, amongst metal bands is safer than trying to reach outside of the regular metal world. Examples such as Baroness’ Yellow & Green, Witchcraft’s polish on last album Legend, and idea that Graveyard’s attempt at blending doom with English blues as a way to work in this same vein.)

#1: (Deliberate disagreement on the process’ effectiveness)

#2: (Citation of Graveyard’s previous album, Hisingen Blues, winning Swedish Grammy, proving effective accessibility, half-assed attempt to blend poptimism with retro-influenced rock ideas.)

#1: (General confusion, expressed by way of admittance toward disagreement with the idea of accessibility as end goal, yet in agreement with liking the idea of metal bands leaving their crutch, or dependability, and attempting alt-reentry.)

#2: (Overt excitement at finding a relating point, generalization of over-intellectualizing music meant to be surface-level enjoyable, idea that Graveyard is not heavy for heaviness’ sake, and not progressive for progressiveness’ sake.)

#1: [Takes shot] (Disagreement on “heavy” point, finds Graveyard to be exuberant in ideas of “for heavy’s sake,” cites slow-burning tracks “20/20 (Tunnel Vision),” “Hard Time Lovin,” and specifically “Slow Motion Countdown,” interestingly placed as the album’s second track, as opposed to lumping in all the slow songs at the end. Admittance of good album sequencing, but defensive of over-intellectualization, embraced theory that the best work is appealingly dumb and smart, simultaneously. Annoyance and repeat disagreement of middlebrow stances.)

#2 [Takes shot] (Leftover excitement blended with diatribe of the blurring of “brow” lines. Some other gibberish that makes it apparent that #2 is intoxicated.)

#1: (Attempt to return to point ended, somewhat unnecessary citation of Virginia Woolf’s middlebrow hating letter/essay to The New Statesman, love for its snobby-ness, and love of snobs in general. Question risen of enjoyability of Lights Out while stoned affecting ability to enjoy the album.)

#2: (Expression of a high probability of likeliness, albeit citing the overrated nature of watching Wizard of Oz synced to Dark Side of the Moon as being enjoyable.)

#1: (Idea that watching The Chronicles of Narnia synced to Dr. Dre’s The Chronic would be better).

[Laughs, high fives, and some more conversation that is irrelevant to the point at hand]

#1: (Desire to come to a consensus, admittance towards enjoyment of Lights Out but retaining same reservations.)

#2: (Light agreement, with prediction of Graveyard avoiding massive un-inventiveness, restating dubbed “Wolfmother” syndrome, and assertion of them caring more about their craft than anything else. Suggestion that the album art is kind of terrible.)

#1: (Agreement with album art, some consensus achieved.)

#2: (Expressed desire for a taco or some french fries.)

[Finishing of drinks, exeunt]

Links: Graveyard - Nuclear Blast

Most Read