"Doom Machine"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Don't take the name of this album too literally because it's not really a doom metal album at all. Portugal's MISS LAVA have been described as a "fuzz rock" band and that's more on the mark. Stoner rock is another term that could be used, but this isn't quite as cookie cutter as a lot of stoner stuff is these days. Strangely enough, I was frequently reminded of WHITE ZOMBIE when listening to "Doom Machine"...or at least before Rob Zombie started putting techno beats into what was a sludgy psychedelic band. The lead vocalist's clear but nasal voice reminds me a LOT of Mr. Zombie and there's more than a touch of "Le Sexorcisto" to the super fuzzed tones here.

But there's more to it than that.  "The Great Divide" and "The Fall" have grungy overtones that wouldn't be out of place in ALICE IN CHAINS. There's a kind of alt-rock vibe as well...not the totally off-kilter stuff, but more the kind of alt-rock that made it onto FM radio back in the day. And yes, MISS LAVA does often have a bouncy, energetic pace to their music, like on "Fourth Dimension". The album features 3 bonus tracks that puff up the running time but don't add significantly to the musical experience. 

Nothing here really knocks me for a loop, but neither is this a bad listening experience. Folks into FU MANCHU and old WHITE ZOMBIE will dig this the most. I just don't find it particularly gripping.