Just like Travis Bickle on a late-night run through a desolated post-Vietnam Times Square, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats’ new record The Night Creeper oozes with enough grindhouse sleaze to make you want to shoot Harvey Keitel in the face to save Jodie Foster from a life of underage prostitution. As with their stoner/doom contemporaries The Sword, it’s been easy for lazy listeners to write UA off as a simple Black Sabbath imitator, but the complete immersion into the subject matter sets Acid aside as a beast of an altogether different type, the 70’s drugs, violence and danger vibe seeping into the very soul of the music itself and transporting the listener to another world entirely.
UA has been extremely prolific, releasing an LP every other year since 2010’s aptly titled Volume 1, yet the material presented here is never derivative or repetitive. There’s a clear narrative line through Night Creeper’s 10 tracks, all building the sense of foreboding, nihilism and dread, and though the record does flow incredibly well, there were a few standouts for me, including album opener Waiting For Blood and the driving first single Melody Lane. I also love the rollicking stop/start jam Inside and can’t get the swinging opening riff of Downtown out of my head.
For a band that used to be called The Sharon Tate Experience, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats definitely put their money where their mouth is. Those intrigued by the “Me Generation gone wrong” imagery will be happy to find out that it isn’t just promotional chicanery but a true representation of the band’s overall aesthetic, and one that they carry out thoroughly and beautifully. It’s the closest thing to an Exploitation Film on wax I’ve ever heard, and I can’t wait to hear more.
Uncle Acid’s The Night Creeper is out now on Rise Above Records, and they’ll be at Union Transfer on this Sunday Night (the 13th) with support from Ruby The Hatchet and Ecstatic Vision.