Some scene will always be epitomized by/related to a certain sound or style. For the city of New Orleans that sound is sludge and few bands wave the flag of sludge like long-time stalwarts Crowbar. Crowbar has been around for a long, long time, originally forming back in the late 90′s. To be perfectly honest they’ve had their highs and lows but one album that ranks very high is 1998′s Odd Fellows Rest.
Odd Fellows Rest, the band’s fifth full length album, marked a couple different turning points for Crowbar. First of all it was their first album for Mayhem Records after leaving long time label, Pavement Music. (The album would be re-released only a year later by Spitfire Records.) The second and probably most important thing they did was bring on Sammy Pierre Duet to play guitar. Duet had just finished up as the main songwriter for one of the most underrated metal bands of all-time - Acid Bath (who we will get to eventually) – and really kind of reinvigorated this band. Duet would play on three Crowbar albums, this being the first, and I would argue that at least two of them are some of the best material Crowbar has ever produced. Coincidence? Maybe, but probably not. Odd Fellow’s Rest also holds a special place because it’s the only Crowbar album to feature the holy sludge triumvirate of Duet, Kirk Windstein (the only original member left in the band) and Jimmy Bower on drums. (Bower would make his name as the guitarist behind some of the sickest riffs ever in EyeHateGod…another band we will get to eventually.)
If you’ve never heard Crowbar…well you probably don’t like metal then. I mean honestly between all the videos they made, the fact that Beavis & Butthead spent time making fun of them, and their association with Pantera I’m really not sure how you could have missed this band if you are over 25 years old. Regardless, Crowbar sound exactly like their name – a big and possibly deadly piece of metal used to break stuff open. Seriously though they are the antithesis of what you would expect a Louisiana swamp to sound like – dirty, gritty and prone to danger. I recommend for this album you start with the track “And Suffer As One” and just listen to the riffing that’s going on here. Sick stuff.