Suicide Circus

You've got to be intrigued when singer/guitarist Todd Staples says his band, Suicide Circus, is "along the lines as if Skynyrd and Pantera had an illegitimate baby and Zakk Wylde was the weird uncle that came around to baby-sit." But listening to Suicide Circus' self-titled disc is more than intriguing — it's a downright dirty and delicious experience. With gritty rock riffs, growling bass lines and big choruses, the band's Southern metal-meets-stoner doom rock sound could also be along the lines as if Clutch and Alabama Thunderpussy got together and beat the shit out of Steve Earle in a dark alley. Some of SC's songs, like "Kicking Myself," are full of down-tuned guitars and real bottom-heavy rhythms that lurch behind Staples' gravelly growl, while other tunes, like "Fuck Right Off," pull from the book of classic metal, with lots of conniption-fit drumming, distortion pedals, and (sometimes excessive) noodling guitar solos. There's lots of good stuff here, but the strongest showing on the disc is definitely "Never Again," which features a low, grimy rock riff and lyrics like "My soul is black and my blood is thin."


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