With a title as confrontational as The Great American Death Rattle, one can expect the third full-length by Youngblood Supercult to be a more abrasive affair than their past efforts. In some respects, this is certainly the case; the production is quite raw and the guitar has a subtly heavier crunch. And while the vocals never go beyond a husky yet melodic character, the delivery on songs like “Burning Messiah” has a very biting fire and brimstone conviction behind it.
But at its core, the Kansas City group adheres to the laid back, Wino-loving desert blues that was developed on 2016’s High Plains. There aren’t as many chill-out moments on here as before but the band dynamic is driven by the same blend of loose rhythms and expressive guitar leads. The songwriting is also still based on jamming things out though with only nine songs on here this time around, there’s more focus on developing unified ideas rather than the off-the-cuff approach of before.
Even with fewer mellow moments, this is still the band’s most diverse album so far. “Wormwood” might be the band’s most upbeat song ever and shows off some classic Danzig influence as its tempo is somewhere between punk and boogie blues while its lyrics aren’t far off from his devil man howls. There are also plenty of strong mid-tempo songs with the title track starting the album off with a sweet bass driven groove and “The Hot Breath of God” serving as the album’s most traditional sounding blues jam.
Overall, Youngblood Supercult keeps the momentum going as they serve up another great blues rock album so quickly after the release of High Plains. While I feel like High Plains may end up being the band’s defining effort, The Great American Death Rattle offers enough variety to keep listeners from feeling like they’re merely resting on their laurels. The Obsessed may have come back with a pretty strong album in 2017, but acolytes like Youngblood Supercult are groovy enough to keep those biker doom legends on their toes.
“The Great American Death Rattle”
“The Hot Breath of God”