Remember that ol’ battle cry “The South will rise again!”? If there was ever a specific time frame that it was alluding to I think it was probably now, the first few months of 2017. And of course I mean musically in the fact that next week, on February 17th to be exact, Vermilion Whiskey will unleash their latest studio offering, the 6-song “Spirit Of Tradition” EP. The Tony Reed (Mos Generator) mastered effort follows the recent release of White Light Cemetery and precedes upcoming ones from Electric Age and Forming The Void..all Southern bands from Louisiana to be exact. And make no mistake, this current music from Vermilion Whiskey is pure, undiluted Southern hard rock tempered with a bit of metallic sludge for taste. With slowly unfurling, molasses-thick riffs, swampy backwoodsy rhythms, and axe-hewn drums, the musical side of this content ripples with borne-from-below-the Mason/Dixon Line vibes with every note.
The five musicians behind Vermilion Whiskey, vocalist Thaddeus Riordan, guitarists Ross Brown and Carl Stevens, bassist Jeremy Foret and drummer Buck Andrus blend a potent mash of grunge-y Stoner Rock. Powered by guitar riffs as heavy as anything by the likes of Down or C.O.C., songs like “Road King“*, the blistering blues ‘n doom of “Come Find Me” and the metal-laden ripper “Loaded Up” scream Southern by the grace of God..or Satan, somebody, heh. The solos alone in “Road King” will absolutely scorch your ears but it’s when this unit takes a header into the heavier side of things that the smoke really begins to pour. “The Past Is Dead“* is a dense, heavy-handed slab of savage doom greatness, the slower riffs churning out as Thad’s vocals wail with whiskey-drenched severity, raspy and rowdy as can be.