CROWBAR, MORTISHEAD + AWAKENING HYPERIA

Bierkeller, Bristol.

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For nearly three decades, the name Crowbar has been synonymous with HEAVY.

Since rising ominously from the swamplands of New Orleans in 1990, they’ve been

hailed internationally as one of the world’s foremost purveyors of crushing, melodic

sludge. Crowbar’s eleventh and latest album, The Serpent Only Lies, is both an

affirmation of the band’s staying power and a nod to their legacy. “To me, it’s a

fresh­sounding version of old­school Crowbar,” says vocalist, guitarist and

mastermind Kirk Windstein. “I intentionally went back and listened to a lot of old

Crowbar stuff, like the self­titled and Broken Glass albums, to get a feel for what my

mindset was 20­plus years ago. I also went back and listened to the bands that

influenced Crowbar in the beginning, like Trouble, Saint Vitus, Melvins, and the first

Type O Negative record. So it was kinda me doing my homework.”

The result is an album that stands toe­to­toe with those early Crowbar classics while

maintaining the lumbering hooks of mid­period standouts like 1998’s Odd Fellows

Rest and 2000’s Equilibrium. Bolstered by massive riffage, new songs “I Am The

Storm,” “Embrace The Light” and the title track explore the themes of life, loss and

spirituality, respectively. “Even lyrically, the approach was a little more old­school,”

Windstein offers. “Some of the songs have less lyrics to let the riffs breathe a little

more, which I had kind of gotten away from over the years. It was a conscious thing

to go back to that.”

The album’s bruising centerpiece “The Enemy Beside You” opens with the line “If

you grow a set of balls, you might just change your life.” It’s a rallying call to

woe­is­me types everywhere. “The song is not about anyone in particular—it’s

about negative people in general,” Windstein explains. “People who bitch about

everything, but don’t get up and do anything for themselves. I know a lot of people

like that. If you need a job, get off your ass and get one. If you need to get off dope, go

get help. Don’t just sit there and whine about it.”

The tour cycle for The Serpent Only Lies marks the return of original Crowbar

bassist Todd “Sexy T” Strange, who left the band back in 1999 but now joins

Windstein, drummer Tommy Buckley and guitarist Matt Brunson in forging

Crowbar’s future. “Todd helped start the band, so having him back is important to

me and, I think, the fans,” Windstein offers. “It’s a great feeling to be standing

onstage next to him. It’s a breath of fresh air for the band and makes us stronger.”

“Having this be our eleventh record, we’re very fortunate because so many bands

don’t last this long,” Windstein adds. “My whole outlook on music as a career is the

Motörhead outlook, which is that slow and steady wins the race. If you continue to

put out killer records, continue to kick ass onstage every night and continue to treat

your fans with respect, that’s the stuff people will remember.”