“When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it, and I didn’t inhale, and I never tried again.” – former U.S. President, Bill Clinton

We all know it’s highly likely that Slick Willy’s denial of a fondness for the mean green in his formative years (or now for that matter) is nothing but pure nonsense. I mean, really…it’s not too hard at all to envision America’s forty-second president rolling one up in his buddy’s dorm room or even sparking a bowl after a not-so-secret encounter with Ms. Lewinski. Let’s be realistic, and burn all naïve notions like so much weak-buzz suburban skunk. Who hasn’t, at one time in their lives or another, had their ass kicked by the infamous Mary Jane with some trudging, down-tempo riff-aholic chaos as the soundtrack? Chances are, William Jefferson Clinton at least once shared the same kind of fondness for herbal enlightenment as is supported and/or celebrated by many bands of the doom and/or sludge ilk. Which brings us to, uhh, Exhibit A…

Like a monster bong loaded to the brim with a ton of herb-infused dynamite, packing a punch similar to that of a red-eyed, sledgehammer-wielding headbanger, Wilmington, North Carolina trio Weedeater features members of Buzzov*en and have been waving the southern sludge banner and exhaling proudly since 1997. Energetic as all hell and exploding with a sense of unrefined danger, Weedeater has the power to make you embrace the idea of a sonic beat-down. It’s the kind of pummeling any sludge fanatic should be so lucky to dream of. The band’s 2001 debut, And Justice for Y’all, featured the production prowess of Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Eyehategod, Melvins) and set the pace for what was to come. They’ve since then followed suit in powerful, doomed-out fashion in the subsequent releases such as 2007’s God Luck and Good Speed. And now, it seems they’ve taken their odyssey to a new level with that album’s follow up.

Recorded and mixed by the almighty Steve Albini, Jason…The Dragon (Southern Lord) was created through a flood of mishaps, including that fateful day when Dave “Dixie” Collins (bass/vocals) blew off his big toe with what he called his “favorite shotgun”. Overflowing with thick-as-mud riffs and pounding percussion, the band’s fourth full-length drags the listener through a swamp that hits the gas where God Luck and Good Speed left off. “Hammerhandle” takes hold of the listener’s attention with an iron-grip and a groove that churns slow like molasses. “Mancoon” takes over in slamming fashion with raw-throated vocals delivering anecdotes of human bite wounds. “Turkey Warlock” is no different in its ferocity. Gears shift a bit on numbers like the one-hundred percent percussion of “March of the Bipolar Bear” and the quirky “Palms of Opium”, which contains tracheotomy-esque vocals and was inspired by Dixie’s tripped-out visions while on meds for the previously-mentioned injury. Through and through, Weedeater have created another buzz-worthy (pun intended) effort that sludge aficionados  will find a welcome addition to their collection. Breathe it in, suckers, and witness: Jason…The Dragon!!