Okay, so you’re a three-piece band from Stephen King Country, and you’ve already shot your shot by naming your outfit MANIC ABRAXAS. Add the weight that your last album was called Speed Golem and where the fuck do you go from there?!
Well, it’d help if you started Foreign Winds out with something equally snazzily titled, ‘Red Camo Rock’, let’s say. Bonus points if you throw a few COFFINS grooves and Thomas G. Warrior-patented “Unnnh!”s in also. There’s a tad of the early ’00s DARKTHRONE here, thinking The Cult Is Alive, when Fenriz got to stroke his punk hard-on to full tumescence, and that’s cool. ‘Onyxsphere’ almost calls to might NYHC of the KILLING TIME / AGNOSTIC FRONT variety, and if you haven’t checked out Brightside by the first of those two, you’re missing out. Meanwhile back in Foreign Winds-ville, the title track’s kicking of with some swampy blues, SOURVEIN but more listenable, and I don’t mean that in an entry-level kind of way. Do they have swamps in Maine? If they do, MANIC ABRAXAS knows where they are. More bogs, probably, but anyhow…that’s a synth I hear in the distance, some digitized loon about to destroy my safety, and I’m fine with that.
Who does this guy think he is, John Bonham leading off ‘Domerunner’ with a snappy rhythm or something? Vocals are easily understandable but gruff, a drunken Downeaster dickering over price of that rusted-ass 55-gallon oil drum. I’m almost hearing some hesher rock vibes in parts, and you don’t hear me complaining.
Foreign Winds is a nifty little gem that goes by faster than a New England Summer, and probably won’t be heard by as many as it should be. For me, the shorter length of the album shows a band that knows how to lay down their soul to the gods rock ‘n’ roll with no room for fat and fuss and that means repeated listens are in the future.
Review By: Lord Randall
4 / 6