2004, Independent Release
Slugnut are an unsigned North Carolina three-piece that's been around since 1993, currently playing speedy, 80s style punk mixed with mid-era Kreator (maybe they've always played this way, I dunno - first I've heard of 'em). "All the Splendor and Rot" is their second (and latest) self-released full CD. What we have here are straight forward thrashing guitars and simplistic drums bashing out basic tracks with enough changes to keep things interesting. None of the playing will send anyone back to the woodshed in fear, this is just old school/head down/journeyman pounding away. The general approach is upper mid-tempo staccato chugging and basic Motorhead or Ramones-styled speedy chord changes, but the band adds doomy interludes and hell-bent for leather blast beats to vary the tempo, and it works pretty damned well. Guitar solos, when featured, are short and not too sweet, but they match the throwback vibe of the band's sound.
Drummer/vocalist Jason Wheeler sounds like someone tossed a young Mille Petrozza into the blender with "Individual Thought Patterns"-era Chuck Schuldiner, and his caustic screams are effective and metal - but his style gets a bit weary as the disc progresses. This wasn't an issue back in the 80s when most metal vocalists sang everything the same way, but these days more variety is much appreciated. There are 14 tracks here, which are a bit much, but overall the quality is consistent. That means that if you find the mix of 80s punk and thrash intriguing, there's plenty of cool riffs and tempo jumps on here to sink your teeth into.
The production is good, the guitars suitably dingy and the drums have clarity. Bass typically echoes the rhythm guitar, making it a bit too thin, which is surprising considering the band is a three piece. I wish more bass players would listen to Geezer Butler - but I reckon Sabbath ain't punk, so there ya have it. The mix is tight and the packaging is very nice. The booklet is a four-panel foldout that includes some mildly interesting imagery, a thank you list, a shot of the band and credits - but unfortunately no lyrics (next time I'd lose the mildly interesting imagery and include the words). This release isn't going to set the world on fire, but I dig it. Fans of the Motorhead , older Kreator and the Ramones probably will as well, if they've ever wondered what those three bands would sound like if they wrote an album together.