Hazzard’s Cure are a San Francisco based outfit comprised of Clint Baechle on drums, Shane Bergman on bass and Chris Corona and Leo Buckley on guitar. On their Facebook page they describe their influences as Weed, Beer and Metal, which are three words that come straight to mind on first playing their self titled album “Hazzard’s Cure” from start to finish. The band has been touring the West Coast of America extensively and has supported contemporaries such as Eyehategod, Unsane and Black Cobra.
“Psilocybin” opens the album with absolutely no fuss or introduction and delivers solid, shadowy grooves with rasping vocal, there are a number of effortless tempo and mood changes throughout that are indicative of a group of musicians who have honed their art through repeated live performance. The instrumental “Meet Me at the Mountain” is a lumbering dinosaur of stretched riffs and wails that are reminiscent of the sound of a late night drunken saloon.
If the listener is looking for bouncing riffs and searing guitar soloing, then “Tossed and Dethroned” will not disappoint, whilst “Wolves Banquet” rides gallantly on a rolling riff and some ripping guitar, only to be interrupted by the locomotive force of “Prayer of the Hunted”. The longest piece on the album, the closing “Great Dishonour”, at nearly 10 minutes, is a tour de force of all the fundamentals described above.
“Hazzard’s Cure” proficiently incorporates blues, sludge, the occasional blast beat and even a tender arpeggio to achieve their unique sound. Over its 40 minute length, a number of playing and vocal styles, fresh, growling or frantic, help maintain the curiosity of the listener. The result is exhilarating and fascinating in equal measure. The vocal appears to be relatively low in the mix, which, whilst accentuating the murderous riffs and menacing bass, could be argued to detract from the lyrics and their significance, and the production may be argued to be a little sanitised for this field.
These are minor quibbles however, as the experience of listening to “Hazzard’s Cure” may be likened to a night of alcohol and weed enhanced indulgence. It is vitally important that music of this calibre is played filthy and coarse, and Hazzard’s Cure know how to pull that off with immense skill and understanding.