• Official SSR Facebook page
  • The SSR video channel
  • Small Stone bands on Last.fm

Acid King
III

SS-054/2005

Lori S: Vocals and Guitar
Joey Osbourne: Drums
Guy Pinhas: Bass

Engineered by Billy Anderson.
Additional Engineering by Vadim Canby.
Recorded at Groove Room, San Rafael, CA.
Mixed at Take Root Studio and Room 5 Studio, San Francisco, CA.
Produced by Acid King and Billy Anderson.
Photos by Jim Thompson.
Artwork by Mike Saputo.

Reviews for III...

ALLMUSIC.COM

Observers looking to critique Acid King's slothful work rate -- which has yielded but three full albums and a few singles over an 11-year lifespan -- would do well to consider how befitting it is to their similarly sluggish brand of doom metal. Let's face it, the overarching influence of Black Sabbath isn't going anywhere fast (get it?), and neither is Acid King's fixation with it, obviously, since they'd managed to both predate and outlive the movement's brief, late-'90s moment in the sun by the time of their third album's release, in 2005. No, the special thing about original founding duo Lori S. (guitars/vocals) and Joey Osbourne (drums) -- here joined by veteran bassist Guy Pinhas (of Goatsnake and Obsessed fame) and producer (and San Francisco neighbor) Billy Anderson -- is being perfectly content in the knowledge that their evolutionary growth, in the immortal words of This Is Spinal Tap, can't even be charted. In other words, doom is where they wanna be, as demonstrated by familiar sounding new offerings such as "Into the Ground," the exceedingly obvious "Heavy Load" (yeah, no sh*t!), and the 12-minute, acid-sludge centerpiece "War of the Mind." Solid doom anthems all, they only rarely make way for anything remotely brief (like, say, the uniquely sub-four-minute "Bad Vision") or remotely energetic (like the Harley-lifestyle-praising "2 Wheel Nation"), on their grinding path towards additional standout "Sunshine and Sorrow," which sends us home on a particularly hypnotic swirl of layered guitars. And that's as it should be, really -- at least in the time-warp universe inhabited by Acid King and their willing disciples.

Eduardo Rivadavia
June, 2005
www.allmusic.com

ABSOLUT METAL

This album fucking rules! Sorry, I'm not usually prone to sudden outburts in reviews, but when you have a stack of 12 shitty cds to comb through, looking for something decent enough to review and you land on something like this, it's something to be excited about. Acid King are doomy as hell, and they groove. If you like Electric Wizard and Sleep, you'll instantly fall victim to their slow, Sabbathy tunes. Lori S. leads this 3-piece with her errie, droning vocals and badass riffs...oh, so heavy. Some serious quality Bay Area doom right here. Of course, it's produced by Billy Anderson so it's got "that sound". Good stuff indeed, this will be sitting in my cd player for awhile.

Wolfe
June, 2005
www.absolutmetal.com

SKRATCH MAGAZINE

Acid King's pummeling low-end attack is once again captured in album form, a Billy Anderson-produced seven-track excursion that solidifies this San Francisco-based trio's place on stoner-rock upper echelon. Combining hypnotic guitar riffs, thunderous bass, and an unfailing drum groove into a cauldron of raucously rumbling rawk, III boasts some of the most enticing and trance-inducing music in stoner rock. Keeping it slow and low but exploding with bursts of dynamic radiance when need be (e.g., "War of the Mind"), Acid King's latest sojourn into the void is nothing short of essential for all who worship the fuzzed-out riff and all which accompanies it.

Mike SOS
June, 2005
www.skratchmagazine.com

LORDS OF METAL

Acid King are strange bunch of people. The first ten inch and record are in my top ten of all time favourite heavy doom records, especially because of the primal force displayed in the songs produced by the the dark minds of Lori S., Joey Osbourne and Guy Pinhas. Compare them to Electric Wizard cross-bred with Sabbath and you'll know what I mean. It took years to brew a new album, but after the flirtation on the Man's Ruin label, of which the album "Busse Wood" has just been re-released, a new album sees the dawn of day. And it's a great album, very song orientated. And like the other releases this album stands or falls with the guitar sound and especially the voice of Lori S. Her actual singing follows a melody line different to the music and "meesah likah that"! It's a voice no one can think of bad! Most songs are just a few riffs, but the variation is in the vocals, the heaviness of the guitar and the absolute "shake your head and twist a muscle" vibe. You can hear from a distance that this must be Acid King. Even the production is űagain- in the master craftsmanship of Sir Billy Anderson, and that's the last thing this release actually needed. They were born to make this album, and damn, they did. Their best release ever and a new top ten candidate!

Rating: 85/100

Erik
Issue 49 - June, 2005
www.lordsofmetal.nl

MONTREAL MIRROR

Once again produced by the king of low-end doom, Billy Anderson, Acid King reach new sub-low heights with this piece of plastic punishment. Fans of the fuzzed-out sludge of Toronto's Sons of Otis and Sleep's landmark album Jerusalem are guaranteed to bug out over this. The heaviosity fest is nicely offset by
Lori S.'s wail (think Cherrie Curie of the Runaways) but for the most part, she just lets her Les Paul do most of the talking. Drums hit behind the beat at a Sabbath crawl while the bass empties bowels and the guitar sticks to pentatonic beatdown - and they're called Acid King!

Rating: 8.5/10

Johnson Cummins
May 19-25.2005 Vol. 20 No. 47
www.montrealmirror.com

SCREAMING BLOODY MESS

There are few guarantees in this life. Death and taxes are two. Small Stone releasing quality fuzz rock is another.

Primarily the creation of Lori S (significant other to MelvinsĂ Dale Crover), Acid King play the type of rock that is thick with sludgy riffs and rich in bottom-end roughage. Each tune plays out in a down-tuned, down-tempo manner, leaning on classic Sabbath for guidance, and early-Kyuss for inspiration.

LoriĂs vocals drone out with the riffs, sounding on the nod and unimportant. Guy PinhasĂ bass rumbles with foundation-shattering clumsiness, while LoriĂs guitar tones hark back to a time when analogue ruled the world. Drummer Joey Osbourne is patient in his delivery, restraining himself for the greater good, playing in a relaxed and complimentary way.

The skilful production of Billy Anderson ensures that III doesnĂt slip into banality, keeping it raw and live-sounding. The bottom-end is where the importance lies here, and Anderson has nailed it, keeping it alive while respecting the need for fuzz.

Warren
June 17th, 2005
www.screamingbloodymess.com

HIGH BIAS

You'd think maturity would be anathema to detuned bong metal, but if III is any indication, you'd be dead wrong. Acid King has been stomping stages for a decade now, and has only gotten better. Lori S's guitar caresses the Sabbath-style melodies even as it masturbates your bowels, and her singing has lost some of its gravel and gained sensual polish. The rhythm section keeps the groove movin', even if it's at a drowsy dinosaur's pace. "Heavy Load" and "Into the Ground" should make the sludge top 40, but it's the muddy cosmic howl of "War of the Mind" that reiterates just what a great band Acid King is.

Michael Toland
June 25th, 2005
www.highbias.com

METRO TIMES

"Acid" is right. Practically every cut on San Fran neanderthud trio Acid King's third full-length opens very gradually, just like the tentative onset of an LSD trip. Ditto the full-sensory explosion that inevitably follows, smacking you into psycho-physical submission. Subscribing to a low-end theory similar to the Melvins, Sleep and Electric Wizard, the band ¨ guitarist Lori S. (who was once married to the Melvins' Dale Crover), drummer Joey Osbourne and bassist Guy Pinhas ¨ unfurls bass-heavy slo-mo riffs then proceeds to brutalize them while Lori wails like some distaff Ozzy teetering on the precipice of a breakdown. In the Sabbath-styled grind of "On to Everafter," the singer even seems ready to succumb to the final void when she shudders "the end comes closer/closer to the light." The record's centerpiece is the 12-minute "War of the Mind," its sludgeadelic churn sucking the listener down into a no-escape black hole where one might find Hawkwind lurking. (Hold that thought: The group previously contributed to a Hawkwind tribute album, the track "Motorhead" subsequently popping up as a bonus cut on Small Stone's reissue of the 1999 Acid King album Busse Woods.) Don't worry, though; while claustrophobia may set in, it's guaranteed to be a good kind of freakout.

Fred Mills
June 29th, 2005
www.metrotimes.com/default.asp

Roadburn Magazine

HAIL! The King returns! Brace thyself, for the kingdom of amplitude is leader-less no more. After a turbulent five-year absence, the time has come for Acid King to triumphantly re-establish themselves as the overlords of thriving, life-giving riffs. Kneel at the passing and bow your head in humility, for your wait is over!
With "III" bringing a fresh harvest of riffs, it is easy to selfishly indulge and expect swift gratification. But that is not the way of the King. Your faith will be tested. You must not waver. Take your time. Listen to it again. Only those who are faithful and patient will be rewarded by the true bounty of this album.

Acid King - III Lose yourself in "III's" luscious atmospheres. Quench your never-ending lust for lumbering riffs in the opening track "2 Wheel Nation." Your soul is sure to take flight riding on the winds of the well-crafted chord progressions in the epic "War of the Mind." These are not just songs with banal downtuned heaviness -Acid King is here to take your hand in allegiance, not overburden your already weary existence.
Like most of the band's previous releases, "III" uses elegance and passion in its heaving euphoria. As the album progresses, be at peace in knowing that your salvation from shit music has come.

Guy Pinhas, once again, proves that a bass guitar can make all the difference. The bass tones are the glue that holds everything together. Joey Osbourne has more of a commanding presence, not just in quality of sound but also in performance. He plays with more swing which truly adds to the album's vibe. And, let us not omit the mastermind, Lori S. [what IS her last name, anyways?] It is ever apparent that a lot of energy was put into these songs, and the proof is in the final product. However...

It's undeniable that female vocals compliment Acid King's music and sets them apart. Lori S. has the ability to add the majestic, fundamental feeling that really makes the band something special. However, some vocal parts lack much needed emphasis. Tonally, it's resonant and lucent, but there needs to be more force, more diaphragm, more COMMAND, in the delivery. Far too often [though no fault of the band] the vocals are pushed too far back into the mix. We, the legions of devoted, need a strong voice to harken to.

To say that Acid King's 2nd full-length is deeper than just music. "III" is felt on a subconscious level. Every passing second, every glorious downbeat possesses nothing but the purest of rapture. Let us give thanks.


Dr.Jones
August, 2005

COSMIC LAVA

When I bought ACID KING's debut EP ten years ago, I can't say that I became a great fan of their fuzzed-out 70's-infected heavy rock, and it didn't change over the last years. There were only a few songs I really liked, but I had altered my point of view after "Busse Woods" and the split-CD with The Mystick Krewe Of Clearlight , both released by Man's Ruin Records. The band had a heavier sound and better songs, even though this repetitive riff building themes can sometimes bore me to death. It's not, that I don't like it when only two or three riffs will be repeated over a long time, but I missed some kind of energy and fire in their sound. At least, Lori S. isn't a great singer, and her monotonous style made me fall asleep for several times... But now, we write the year 2005, and here's the third album of ACID KING, simply entitled "III". This time, the group had joined the Small Stone roster, but this was a logical step, due to the re-release of
"Busse Woods" through Small Stone Records in 2004. And, believe it or not - I start to dig this album more and more! What's the reason for it? Well, at first, suddenly here's all the fire and passion I missed before, and the band has developed a greater dynamic in playing.

One of the reasons for this positive change is, that bassist Guy Pinhas (ex-The Obsessed/ex-Goatsnake) teamed up with ACID KING a few years before, because his energetic heavy style adds a new depth to the sound, so that he's a real reinforcement for the band. Lori S. is still the high-priestess of fuzz, and she puts one super heavy crispy layer on another, while her improved laid-back singing is deep buried in the mix. At least, here's drummer Joey Osbourne, who never sounded so restless and inspiring as on this recordings. I never recognized on previous releases, that he's such a skillful player. And what about the songs? Well, I can't report anything bad about the here included seven cuts, and they will surely appeal to old fans of the band as well as new ones. ACID KING are comparable with a walk through the desert: after some hours you become inert and you slow down more and more. Songs like "Heavy Load" or "Into The Ground" are giving a perfect musical description of this feeling, but I guess, they would also fit to a documentation about trucks or biker-gangs, especially if it was shot in the '70's. As we know it from "Busse Woods", ACID KING are spreading a doomy and sinister vibe, but I wouldn't describe them with the term 'doom', just because the 70's heavy rock influence is more dominant in their sound. The top-notch production from Billy Anderson (who else!) is the cream whip on "III", and so there's nothing more for me to say than: highly recommandable!

Klaus Kleinowski
November, 2005
www.cosmiclava.de/

Album Tracks

  1. 2 Wheel Nation
  2. Heavy Load
  3. Bad Vision
  4. War of the Mind
  5. Into the Ground
  6. On to Everafter
  7. Sunshine and Sorrow

More Stuff...