A Hundred Years
Self described “Creepy Dirtbags,” A Hundred Years, call Edmonton, Canada home, and they seem like they were weaned on a pretty steady diet of skateboarding, Kyuss, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Add plenty of Molsons and probably mushrooms eaten by the handful, store in a drafty dirt floor basement all winter, and you get this.
Altered Reality is a noisey overloaded racket of 13 songs, all of which feel like their going to fall apart at any moment. And like any train wreck, the anticipation of impact is half the thrill.
Frontman/guitarist Jeremiah Simmons sounds as though he’s method acting his way to being Peter Murphy, with a overdone baritone that’s excessively dramatic and fun to listen to. Think William Shatner as a villainous Vincent Price.
“Parallel Lies” is a charging assault of a song. Full of piss and vinegar, and the unsentimental notion, “Oh, ain’t it true that the bad die young/ And the good die boring.”
“Cockroach Mambo” shows the band has a sense of humor and probably more than a few Zappa albums in their collections.
“Venus” is a busy psychedelic jam, as is “Where art thou Men?” The latter owing to Nirvana’s loud-quiet-loud songwriting formula. Drummer Kris Blatkewicz plays all over the place, over the measure line, reminiscent of free jazz and Bill Ward at the same time.
“Born To Loose” is all over the place. Quietly sloppy before lurching into a purposeful overdrive.
“Grunge” sounds more like a Damaged era Black Flag song than the Melvins or Nirvana. They could put out two albums of songs just like this and it’d be perfect.
“Damaged” is by contrast, one of the more rock steady numbers on the disc. Everyone more or less stays in the lines of where you’d expect them to be, musically.
But overall, this is a glorious mess. Almost like Jackson Pollock with a band. Performing all the time would give the band more cohesion. A bigger budget would allow the band a chance to clean up the recording into something, neater, something more tidy. Both are probably bad ideas.
So now there’s a dilemma. How much success improves this knuckle dragging brilliance and how much would ruin them?
Only one way to find out. Buy the damn thing. Send them Canadian dollars, and maybe they won’t spend it wisely. I want more, just like this. From start to finish, more primitive man musings fleshed out with these instruments they are still in the process of figuring out how to hold. I want more. And you will too if you know what’s good for you