"Oceans Rise"

By Dr. Abner Mality

With a name like Thinning the Herd, I was expecting some slaughtering gore metal band or perhaps misanthropic Norsemen extolling the virtues of zero population growth. To my surprise and eventual delight, the band is none of the above and instead is a dirty groove machine combining the grimiest aspects of stoner rock and early 90's grunge ala Alice In Chains.

These New Yorkers believe in the adage "keep it simple, stupid", as each of the 8 tunes here are as basic and groovy as you can get. Take that opening title track, for example...can't get much simpler than this oozing, bluesy crawl. Some of the tunes are more upbeat, like "Looking Behind" and "Binge", but it all has a crusty, grungy rock n' roll sheen that smells raw and real. The vocals are clear, melodic but ballsy...perfectly suited to the material here.

Another plus, it doesn't overstay its welcome. At 34 minutes, it's a nice digestable chunk of granite that doesn't degenerate into endless psychedelic noisiness or formless jamming like many similar bands do. Yeah, I've heard every tune on here before somewhere else or so it seems, but Thinning The Herd seem pretty honest about their rock n' roll and if you dig bands like Graveyard, The Company Band and of course Alice In Chains (R.I.P., Mike Starr), "Oceans Rise" is a solid investment.