Maryland’s DIRT WOMAN is the world’s first WINDHAND tribute band. The members probably won’t like hearing that, but there it is. One listen to The Glass Cliff, and chances are, you’ll agree. Now, that does not necessarily mean this is a “bad” album. It’s actually pretty good, if you like super-gooey sludge riffs mixed with haunting female vocals. It’s just really, really derivative.

Lots of long, oozing jams here, with only 5 songs, but about an hour of run time. The minute you hear the guitar tone on ‘Lady Of The Dunes’, you know you’re in for one super-heavy ride – and you’re also in for a WINDHAND knockoff. The resemblance is uncanny. Early HIGH ON FIRE also comes to mind. Yeah, it’s that heavy. The two shortest tracks – neither of which are actually “short” – work the best for me…’Lady Of The Dunes’ and the monstrously thick ‘Fades To Greed’ are both killer examples of sludge doom. Singer/guitarist Zoe Koch tries her hardest to hit the Dorthia Cottrell of WINDHAND vibe and gets mighty close, but she’s not quite as eerie. Well, few are.

That leaves the massive 13-minutes-plus tunes ‘Creator’, ‘Demagogue’ and ‘Starhawk’. These are what you call “full bong songs”. ‘Creator’ is the best and heaviest. ‘Demagogue’ is the most bluesy and psychedelic, but frankly bored me, while ‘Starhawk’ is not bad, but comes across as fairly standard and a little too long.

Apparently the real DIRT WOMAN is a trans activist who was very active in the Virginia area. So that’s the origin of the name. There are some great moments to be found on The Glass Cliff, but this band needs to find its own unique identity.
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality

The Glass Cliff
Grimoire Records
3.5 / 6