Just realized the reason why I was still awaiting the release of Saviours’ fourth full-length album was because I’d missed it; when Death’s Procession (Kemado 2011) came out this past September 6, I was grueling and grinning on “Day 2″ of the John Muir Trail. Can’t say I’d trade places, though. The album was long-awaited on my part, but I still feel like I’m missing something. Sure, it has all the extremely satisfying, characteristic Saviours go-tos: galloping momentum (“The Eye Obscene”), dual guitars to make one’s spirit leap out of body (“To the Grave Possessed”), and even impressive vocal harmonies (“Crete’n”, “Walk to the Light”). Yet as a whole, it feels neither as creative nor inspired as their first two albums, Crucifire (Level Plane Records, 2006) or Into Abbadon (Kemado, 2008). The third album, the super thrashy Accelerated Living (Kemado, 2009), was just beginning to grow on me, its anthemic mantra, “We roam! Wasted!” transformed from a vision of bullshit dudes partying obscene to a triumphant rallying cry against yuppie scum, beers held high like Olympic torches of working class allegiance, for instance. Yet compared to the filler flatness of their latest effort, AL seems positively dynamic and racing wild. Hopefully this one will age well on my CD shelf as well, and new nuances will show themselves upon each future listening. In the meantime, Dan Obstekrieg’s opinion on MetalReview is pretty much everything I wanted to say but executed much better (including this brilliant line, “nature abhors indecision just as much as it does a vacuum”). Go there, here.
From the botanical realm, Prunus cerasifera and Magnolias are already opening their buds. It’s a mid-January gift (for Californians, at least), post-Christmas, post-New Year. The holidays have settled, and more beauty awaits in the months to follow, even amidst drunkenly ruined pseudo-resolutions and sigh….Reality, whatever that signifies. Having faith in the unfolding petals of three flowering plum street trees helps, as does this celebratory Magnolia tree (species unknown), as seen on a street in Santa Cruz filled with quirky, trashy, kitschy, recycled, beautiful, tangled, sustainable, wayward, rainbow, freaky, comfortable, and challenging gardens. And really, would one expect Santa Cruz to offer anything less?
And finally, a shack that’s truly made to rock out in. An appropriate use of recycled materials. Behind a white picket fence, to boot.