Gideon Smith: Vox, Guitar
Phill Durr: Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Eric Hoegemyer: Drums, Organ, Vox
Jason Griscom: Lap Steel on “When I Die”, Guitar on “Come And Howl”
Mark Binion: Drums on “Come And Howl”
Clayton: Scrub Board on “Come And Howl”
Sue Lott: Backing Vocals on “Ride With Me”
Produced, recorded, and mixed by Eric Hoegemyer @ Rustbelt Studios – Royal Oak, MI.
Mastered by Chris Goosman @ Baseline Audio – Ann Arbor, MI.
Illustration and album artwork by Alexander Von Wieding, www.zeichentier.com
Published by Small Stone Records (ASCAP)
All Lyrics by Gideon Smith, Music by Smith, Durr (ASCAP)
Except “I Bleed Black” – Music and Lyrics by Saint Vitus and “When I Die” – Music And Lyrics by G.G. Allin.
Gideon Smith’s most recent offering is a wonderful piece of American rock ‘n’ roll, blending as it does seventies hard rock, stoner, doom and southern rock. Smith is flanked by a tight, kick- ass band and his soulful, smoky voice gives the whole thing its’ distinct character. Occasionally, the album evokes a moonshine version of Danzig’s Rick Rubin era and the riffs fit the Small Stone house style very well, but the blues is never far away.
The real surprise is Smith’s love for British bands like The Cult and Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction. Perhaps more than any of his albums, this element becomes more predominant this time round, especially in songs like the opener Black Fire and Ride With Me (both of which ride on propulsive riffs), while the catchy as Hell Feel Alive might just be my favourite thing here, all AC/DC strut ‘n’ roll and Southern groove. Add a mournful version of GG Allin’s When I Die (Smith knew Allin back in the day) and an awesome cover of Saint Vitus’ I Bleed Black and you have Smith’s most accomplished record to date.
- Dimitris Kontogiannis
For a while now, the Heavy Rock world has been inundated with so-called "Outlaws" and dubious biker types who have classed their followers into "chapters", while pushing their stale beer, whiskey and overall badassery. Personally, I`m not too "Wylde" [heh heh] about this particular sub-genre, though loads of other people like it. All the tats, leather vests and torn Pantera T-shirts won`t mean Jack [Daniels] if you can`t deliver the goods, which most artists of this ilk cannot. Then there`s Gideon Smith. Gideon has released 2 CDs [as well as a couple of EPs] filled with his special mix of Heavy Rock, Stoner/Doom and Blues. Smith makes his music because he wants to, and more importantly, HOW he wants to, damn the trend setters, full speed ahead. Unlike the outlaw wannabes currently making the rounds in the mainstream, Gideon really IS an outlaw, doing what he loves; this honest, earnest approach is what draws people to his style of music. And now we have CD Number 3, "30 Weight". With the latest album, Gideon has expanded a bit on what he set down with the previous releases without veering from his original vision. The rockin` "Black Fire" is the lead off track, and things just keep getting better! "South" has an early Danzig feel, while "Love Of The Vampire" is just a total ass-kicker. Gideons` surprise cover of Saint Vitus "I Bleed Black" actually improves the original, I think. The stripped down "When I Die" showcases Gideons` versatility, while the Rockabilly-tinged "Come And Howl" closes out the album in fine fashion, though the tracks I`ve mentioned are but a few of the gems awaiting the listener, and you owe it to yourself to check out Gideon Smith, an artist who`s as real as it gets, and so is the music on 30 Weight"!
- West Side Dave
For a macho-baritoned shotgun wedding of thick-plod doom metal (including a Saint Vitus cover) to roadhouse blues (in both a Doors and a ZZ Top sense), this feels surprisingly goth -- and not just 'cause there's a vampire song. Still, Smith flies his Carolina flag, naming one track "South," and honky-tonking two Jim Beamed redneck outlaw numbers with lap steel and washboard. Add guitar intros that sound like 1993 Urge Overkill ripping '70s AOR ("Ride with Me") and 1975 Pere Ubu dabbling in Sabbathoid psychedelics ("Born to the Highway"), and the Dixie Damned earn their motorcycle licenses.
- Chuck Eddy
Genre: Stoner Goth & Roll
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 chocolate starfish
North Carolina rocker, Gideon Smith, is back with his long awaited 3rd album and it’s definitely one of his best efforts to date. Gideon Smith & the Dixie Damned were formed in 1997 from the ashes of Polygram Records Act, Animal Bag. I would say the band sounds like the bastard child of The Cult and Black Sabbath… Slightly Danzig-esque minus the kitty litter and tour rider. The overall tone of the music is swampy, dark, and seductive. The cohesiveness of the songs certainly make the lp a solid “front-to-back” recording. While Smith isn’t a pumping out two albums a year, the music always seems to be worth the wait.
The album starts off with one of Smith’s trademark mid-tempo blues-laced rockers, “Black Fire”. Like so many songs on this record, it is accentuated with Smith’s deep baritone voice, slithering melodic guitar meshed over big riffs and a rich chorus chalked full of hooky goodness. Other highlights on this record include “Bleed Black” (a Saint Vitus cover), “Ride With Me”, “Born to the Highway”, and “Do Me Wrong”.
This album managed to sneak right onto my TOP 10 of 2011 list. From the songwriting to the production, Gideon Smith managed to connect the hammer and the nail. If you like dark music that doesn’t make you want to slit your wrists (yes, it’s a fine line), give this one a whirl.
Gideon Smith will always be headstrong and remarkable; his mix of country, stoner, blues and (gothic)metal (and I probably still forgot something) supported with his dark brown characteristic voice can once more be called captivating. He even succeeds to let the Saint Vitus classic ‘I Bleed Black’ sound more spooky than the original in a strange way. Just a little side note; that diabolic layer in some songs can raise some questions, coming from a man who writes spiritual books about positive thinking. Also again the man has delivered the goods in bringing together a bunch of befriended assisting musicians working as a well oiled machine and bring out the best in performing the final result of Smith’s concepts. Speaking of final results: also the production delivered a real work of art. The former works of Smith could use a bit more structuring production wise, but this time everything fits exactly. Even the more bombastic parts, which can make you think of Danzig at times, always stay transparent, and also all typical details of the several influences are cunningly interlaced in the final picture. This stubborn piece of work may not be suitable for a very large audience, but the fans will really love it.
There's bands which we consider too rare, others too under-rated, but concerning GIDEON SMITH and THE DIXIE DAMNED it's immediately both that come in mind, yeah too fuckin' rare and under-rated !!!
Maybe too quickly ranged in the box "Southern Rock", the style of the band is more rich and stripped than one can imagine, especially on this new album "30 weight" where the general mood is darker than usual, for my greatest pleasure ! I read here and there the word GOTHIC regarding this developed aspect on this new album, I would rather say there's new sounds in a music (that remains deeply and simply AMERICAN ROCK'N ROLL) which could remind a bit what we called here "english rock" from the mid 80's with the likes of JOY DIVISION or the darkest early hours of THE STRANGLERS,just simply dark and catchy sounds,without any tendencious and/or reducing GOTHIC image, which in my opinion seem far from the GIDEON's identity and authenticity.
At first, it could seem a bit strange to hear these guys covering "I bleed black" (ST VITUS), but this last just a few seconds and is simply one of the best cover I've ever heard, one of the most personnal in its interpretation but most faithful in the spirit, so haunting, disturbing. All in all, it seems then not so surprising, but nearly logical that they choose this song cause it's pretty much in the vein of the album and the Maryland Doom style presents similarities with the band's main characters : a simple and authentic taste for raw and heavy rock'n roll ! Sure there's differences in the pace of the songs, but where starts doom music exactly ? is it necessary slow and/or epic ?!!! This is more a question of hypnotic heaviness in my opinion and GIDEON knows something about it for sure !!!
His voice is even more beautiful, often described as a cousin of Jim Morisson and Elvis Presley, his performance, here more than ever, leads him right among contemporaries like Peter Steele and Glenn Danzig... This is just my honest opinion, but this guy has really something special in his voice, he's definitely a brilliant modern gloomy crooner !
The bluesy southern feelings are not abandonned at all, just more subtle but still deeply rooted with well balanced rythmic and hot stoner like melodies like on "love of the vampire" and "born to the highway".
I've never been on the road in the States yet, I was yet dreaming of it about fifteen years ago while listening KYUSS or FU MANCHU but (with years passing) things have been a bit eroded with them and for quite some time I was waiting for something new, then "30 weight" came out recently and the dream revived... well , hum, the trip is planed for 2014, so GIDEON, stay wild and free but please come down here before to play this excellent piece of rock'n roll !!!
Beefed up with a distinctly darker disposition than what country-tinged blues music normally delivers, Gideon Smith and The Dixie Damned hail their return to the circuit with a jarringly eclectic mix of styles on latest release 30 WEIGHT. This 11-track endeavor finds the North Carolina-based Smith dabbling with a number of different vocal approaches, channeling everyone from Danzig to Hank III over a drastically altering musical landscape skillfully switching from Damned-esque doom rock (“Shining Star”) and brawny biker rock (“Ride With Me”) to jangly acoustic guitar twang (“When I Die”) and a Gothically-charged St. Vitus cover of “I Bleed Black”. Presenting this mixed bag of swagger with a cosmically fortified stream of consciousness (“Born to the Highway”), Gideon Smith reveals a shadowy side to his musical repertoire without dropping the accolade-garnishing stoner rock chock full of southern charm.
Gideon Smith is America’s answer to Nick Cave, a prolific musical nonconformist, a talented musician, with an eclectic proclivity towards combining dark, Gothic imagery and psychedelia with American rock n’ roll. And somewhat off his rocker. Lyrically, Gid substitutes Cave’s obsession with all things God and America with the obsession of obsession itself… the gal just out of reach, the gal that was in reach and is no longer and the evil, legendary ones that have you by the proverbial balls and use it for their own fiendish purposes. Many of you may have ex-wives like this. Ah yes, the universal language of unrequited love that serves as kindle to obsession’s dark flame.
Cave and Gid even share the same vocal approach… a deep, emotion-and-whiskey soaked timbre somewhere between Elvis and Satan that can go from a whisper to a scream. Musically, where they differ is in Gid’s distinctly American, Southern Rock approach. Motorcycles, bars, highways, jails and guns are common themes visited in the best tracks, like the darkly shimmering “Shining Star”, the ‘got no friends, got a gun and I’m fixin’ to die’ acoustic number “When I Die” or the infinitely rocking and catchy “Come and Howl”. Where Gid really gets cooking and defines himself is his style of combining a Southern-tinged flair with Roky Erickson-like psychedelia and a darkly Gothic feel for a style completely his own, as encountered in “Black Fire”. He’s can go from a acid-laced riff into Derek Trucks-like slide guitar solo and make it stick. It’s like Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Roky Erickson meets Joy Division … very distinct is his style. Also of note to this particular audience is his amazing cover of the Saint VItus chestnut “Bleed Black”. Hhis deep baritone voice and style are completely reverential to the visceral and historical impact of the original. You shall not listen and be disappointed.
A personal note regarding Gideon Smith – he’s one of the nicest people I’ve had a chance to encounter via the Internets. Out of the blue, he’ll send me one of his new stickers, a photo or drop me an email to check in. It’s not often an artist will go way out of his way to connect with us hesh rock journalists. And to keep things fair balanced, if 30 Weight sucked I’d tell you the same and he would have respected it. At least I think he would. Ha!
30 Weight gets a lot of repeat listens. Like his British counterpart Nick Cave, Gid’s unique style makes his all-too-infrequent output an engaging and refreshingly original listen. American, Southern-tinged rock n’ roll with dark, Gothic themes and traces of blazing psychedelia are his stock and trade as a musical artist. His lyrical proclivity towards obsession always seems to hint at being at least semi-autobiographical. An artist that lets us in, even if the door is just open a crack, is pretty refreshing in the heavy music genre. 30 Weight is an album I can definitely stand behind as being among the best I’ve heard yet in 2011.
- Chris Barnes
Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned are back after 3 years with their third killer release!!!! I hadn't the slightest idea that GS going to release a new record until yeoldstinkeye provided me the album. Released few days ago by Small Stone Recs. (I've wrote a lot of times before about the quality releases under this label), "30 Weight" will be in a lot of "best releases of 2011" lists. It has amazing bluesy grooves, a bunch of monster riffs, southern outlaws' spirit and of course the haunting, deep vocals of Gideon. There is no stop or pause by the time you put "30 Weight" on your player. For the time being I love this one more than their previous two albums. Maybe it's the overall darker feeling... Ah, I forgot to mention that it features to great covers in Saint Vitus' "I Bleed Black" and GG Allin's "When I Die". Highly recommended!
Through the mist . . . hiding at the end of the alley. Moonlight reflecting off the rain-soaked streets, illuminating dark corners of the gothic southern night. Haze swirls around the erected crucifixes topping the tombstones. Stone angels look on, hiding from the penetrating eyes of the gargoyles.
A pulse vibrates. Heavy. Intensifying. Terrifying.
Something stirs in the netherlands. The mist parts and Gideon Smith steps forward, six-string slung over his shoulders like a shotgun. The Dixie Damned join in his wake like a sheriff's posse. Guns are drawn. Violence is due.
30 Weight may only be Gideon's third official full length releases, but the man is already a legend, worthy of his own tribute album that showcased the exquisiteness of his songwriting. An outlaw martial artist riding his iron horse into the horizon, the North Carolina native mixes Cult psychedelia, Sabbath occult riffery, and southern rock into his entirely unique blend of netherworld gothic heaviness. Dust explodes under the weight his boots. Skeleton's run and hide as he rides into town. God-fearing folk start praying . . . to no effect. The legend has arrived.
Still, knowing the man's music as well as I do, I wasn't prepared for the full glory of 30 Weight. All dispassionate music writing unbiased view point goes out the window here. This is a fucking amazing album. Without a doubt the monster in Gideon's catalog, and a true triumph of sludgy Gothic rock. 30 Weight is a testament of crushingly heavy riffs, monstrous bone-shattering groove, eerie bluesy boogie, and unearthly tone. And by tone I mean mood, imagery, tenor. Feel the cold, blood-sucking breath of your master bearing down on your neck, cause Gideon is the resurrected spirit of every southern outlaw ever hung at the crack of dawn, crawling back out of the swampy delta cemetery ready to rock havoc upon your town.
And it's all there from the very first second of the first track, "Black Fire." A haunted moment of slide guitar echoes in the first second before the mother of all slinky guitar riffs explodes into the night sky. Aided by the incredible guitar work of Phill Durr and the rhythm of Eric Hoegemyer, The Dixie Damned rise from the mud-caked underworld. Gideon's voice occupies some emotional place that Danzig could only wish to reach, deep and husky, full of nuance and impossible menace. The song is an epic to lost love, full of mournful reflection and cryptic pain. It's real and it fucking grooves. I honestly can't stop listening to it.
But I do, because "Ride With Me" comes next, swaggering out of the speakers like a demonic motorcycle pack on the open highway. Without ever having met Gideon, I already know that this is his theme song. His reason for being. The song to one day be played at his funeral as his leather-clad and tattooed pall bearers carry his mahogany and chrome casket to it's final resting place. This is his essence, his being, his outlaw philosophy spit out into the wind behind him without a touch of remorse. You either accept it or get the outta the way. Against a crushing riff, Gideon sings:
Hands on the wheel
Picking up speed
I do what I feel
Do I look like I give a fuck if you like it?
Ride with me, Baby
And I'm hooked. I'm there, the engine growling between my legs. I'm tattooing parts of my body I didn't even know I had. I'm in the pack. I'm a member of the damned. Fuck the world, I'm riding with him.
"South" is pure southern sludge and ethereal mysticism. A song of sweaty, sultry intensity. The outlaw lays bare his heart. His passion is palpable as he takes his woman into the "wilderness of our love." Layers of guitar swoon and mingle like fluids mixing in the midst of lovemaking. It's heavy, it's intense, it's dark. Just the way you'd imagine Gideon to be.
"Love of the Vampire" rips through a quasi-Monster Magnet/Fu Manchu riff before launching off into a blackened voodoo rocker. Fuzz guitar shreds through the bluesy tone while the darkness of Gideon's vocals weighs down.
There's more, there's so much more. A plain intensely evil, stripped down cover of St. Vitus's "I Bleed Black," the out-and-out riff-rock of "Do Me Wrong," a twisted acoustic version of G.G. Allin's "When I Die," and the kicking groovy haunted blues workout that is "Come and Howl." But these treasures I'll leave for you to discover on your own. And discover you must. If you love rock, if you love mood, if you love blues, sludge, southern gothic, heavy guitars, texture, motorcycles, zombies and undead outlaws, you owe it to yourself to hear this album. Buy three copies. Nail one above your door to let the rampaging motorcycle gangs know your allegiance and your bowing to the master. Let them motor by your house in peace.
30 Weight is epic. Simple as that.
Over the course of the past 10 years or so and with 2 EPs and 2 previous albums to his name, Gideon Smith has assumed an almost legendary status…even getting his own tribute album. Smith is an outlaw, he operates on the fringes of rock and roll, steadfastly shying away from playing “the game” and that in itself immediately draws people deeper into the fold with his heartfelt amalgam of stoner, blues, country, Goth and rock and roll.
So 2011 sees the 3rd, very long awaited album drop. Without a band per se, Gideon has been assisted by a number of friends to pull together a remarkable piece of work. Aside from Smith on vocals and guitar, the mainstays are Phil Durr (Big Chief, Luder, Five Horse Johnson, Giant Brain) on guitars, bass….etc and Eric Hoegemyer on drums, who also produced this very fine affair. Not that you would think this is anything but a cohesive band playing here and the consistency of the material with the previous releases serves to highlight Smith’s strength as a song writer.
Opening track “Black Fire” is a slinky rocker fuelled by a tasty little slide riff while “Ride With Me” boasts a potential chorus of the year backed up by Sue Lott’s (Luder, Slot) seductive backing vocals. “South” pulls together Smith’s swampy blues and blends it with Danzig’s darker hewn gothic tendencies. Smith’s rich baritone has always been an impressive asset but here he shows a greater sense of depth in his choice of melodies than on previous albums and a greater awareness of the power of a strong chorus.
On “Love Of The Vampire”, Smith kicks the dust off his boots and lays down an ass kicking rocker that isn’t a million miles away from “White Zombie’s “Black Sunshine” but painted a darker shade by Smith’s dark voodoo magic. At this point it should be pointed out that the production shows a far greater level of texture and creativity than past albums. Guitar tones change and weave around each other as thick syrupy fuzz merges with cleaner, bluesier tones. Overall there is more space in the production that somehow serves to make the whole sound more expansive.
An album highlight for many will surely be a stunning reimagining of Saint Vitus’ classic “I Bleed Black”. Eschewing much of the oppressive heaviness of the original, Smith actually succeeds in making the song darker and, well, plain evil…which is ironic as Smith doesn’t actually have an evil bone in his body. The result is akin to Chris Isaac jamming with Samhain if your minds can stretch that far. On the strength of this track alone, should Wino ever choose to jump the Vitus ship they needn’t look too far for a replacement.
Smith channels his inner Cult on “Do Me Wrong”, another of his trademark mid paced, blues inflected rockers that owes a debt to the “Electric” era but swaps the faux biker tendencies for a genuine dust covered world weariness. “Born To The Highway” kickstarts the motor on another Danzig-esque ride through the wastelands, revving the engine on another slice of greased up biker rock.
Another album highlight comes in the form of “Feel Alive”. Contrary to the title, Smith still sounds as though he’s pulling from the darkest corners of his soul as he states “on demons’ wings we’ll fly”, yet the song boasts one of the strongest choruses on the whole album. This is a darkness to be embraced and channelled as opposed to wallowing in it. The same is true of “Shining Star” which brings the mood down a whole notch as gloomy organs vie for space with swampy acoustic flourishes and lap steel. Smith’s rich voice regales us with a tale of his “beautiful girl” and there is a delicate beauty in the apparent sadness.
There’s more irony on “When I Die”, a gentle acoustic/lap steel driven country influenced piece that actually succeeds in sounding far more uplifting than much of the rest of the songs here. The restraint in Smith’s vocals here display the true breadth of his vocal abilities. Imagine Guns ‘N’ Roses “Patience”…but without a whiney prick singing!!!
The album also ends on a high note on “Come And Howl” as Smith digs further back into the roots of rock and roll with a tune that’s part swing, part rockabilly but retaining the usual heavy rocking tendencies shown through the rest of the album.
It just goes to show that if something is good it’s definitely worth waiting for. Smith may not be the most prolific artist around but when he drops a bomb the echoes resound through rock and roll. Here’s hoping he’s able to assemble a band capable of doing this material justice so he can hit the road and get back to where you truly come to believe he belongs.
- Ollie Stygall
Last time listeners heard from Mr. Gideon Smith, on 2008's cleverly titled South Side of the Moon LP, he was lording over a particularly vast assortment of collaborators working under the by now familiar Dixie Damned banner...which is ironic since most of them reside in the Motor City. But hey, it worked pretty well anyway, so geography be damned! Released in 2011, 30 Weight boasts many of those same partners in crime, including guitarist Phil Durr (Big Chief, Five Horse Johnson, etc.), bassist Sue Lott (Slot, Luder), and producer Eric Hoegemeyer (Giant Brain), plus a few new ones, and features an equally varied musical smorgasbord. Just to give you a taste, there's the psychedelics-laced hard rock of "Black Fire," the focused classic rock punch of "Ride with Me," the Southern gothic-steeped "Love of the Vampire," the QOTSA-styled robo-groove of "Do Me Wrong," the ‘60s garage rocker "Come and Howl," a convincing outlaw country ballad in "When I Die," and a suitably dreary cover of Saint Vitus' "Bleed Black." Unfortunately, Smith himself occasionally lets down the rest of the team, when his acquired taste of an Evil Elvis croon leaves weaker, sometimes shoddy-sounding material like "South," "Born to the Highway," and "Shining Star" resembling limp-wristed Danzig. Nevertheless, 30 Weight still packs enough surprises and tantalizingly unhinged appeal to satisfy existing Gideon Smith acolytes, lovers of all things slightly perplexing, and fans of off the beaten path rock & roll.
- Eduardo Rivadavia
Gideon Smith again shows that he truly is a sonic alchemist who is driven by an unbending outlaw spirit. Another proof of this is his new album, '30 Weight', which shows again the stylistic bandwidth of his music. For a long time already, it was obvious that Gideon Smith has more to offer than just stereotypical southern rock. A lot of different influences are incorporated into his music, ranging from psychedelia over hardrock to gothic (not the cheesy kind). He combines all this with a lot of delta blues, country and rock 'n' roll to create a very individual sound. His dark and soulful voice significantly raises its recognition value and it would not be wrong to claim that there's a sonic similarity to other vocalists such as Jim Morrison or Ian Astbury. But on the whole, he just shares the same timbre with these big names. If you listen closely, you realise that Gideon Smith is doing his own thing with regard to his vocal style. His voice is way too unique to be classified and any comparison to other vocalists doesn't do justice.
Besides that, it is good to know that '30 Weight' has been recorded with almost the same line-up as on the previous album, 'South Side Of The Moon'. With Phil Durr (Big Chief, Five Horse Johnson, Luder, Giant Brain) on lead guitar, he found someone sharing his ideas of how blues, rock and other elements could be melted togehter to achieve the unique sound that both of them considered to be best. Eric Hoegemeyer (Giant Brain) is the man behind the drums who provides THE DIXIE DAMNED with spot on playing. All this is complemented by a couple of guest musicians including Sue Lott (Slot, Luder).
The last time Small Stone Records label chief Scott Hamilton was among the guests, but this time he is "only" involved as label chief. You guessed it, '30 Weight' will be released via Small Stone in 2011. But now back to the music. This is an amazing album from a band of musical wizards. There's so much intensity, swagger and attitude in this album and whoever thinks that music can't be dark and light, heavy and uplifting all at once has never heard the magic of GIDEON SMITH & THE DIXIE DAMNED. The album starts with 'Black Fire' which sets the mood well. There's a dirty and deep feel that draws you into the music along with catchy melodic lines and a memorable chorus. But not only 'Black Fire' is driven by an vintage rock 'n' roll spirit.
The same could be said about the whole album which is considerably more rooted in classic rock ('n' roll) than 'South Side Of The Moon'. And yet '30 Weight' is crossed by psychedelic swathes and some outlaw country music. This is particularly true for 'Shining Star' and 'Born To The Highway', but also the fantastic cover version of 'I Bleed Black' (Saint Vitus) has been enriched with a subliminal lysergic undertone. There are a lot of great songs on '30 Weight', but 'Come And Howl' is definitely among my fave cuts. Never before has GIDEON SMITH & THE DIXIE DAMNED had such a strong 1960's vibe in their music. 'Come And Howl' is sexy as fuck and one of Gid's most infectious songs. In contrast, 'Do Me Wrong' is fueled by the love and passion for bands such as The Cult and Circus Of Power. All in all, '30 Weight' is a great album with songs that are some of the best in his entire catalog. Gideon and his ever-changing backing band of musical desperado’s have created a timeless album that could have just as easily been produced in 1968 or 1978 as it was in 2011. A varied yet individual package that fans of the darker side of rock 'n' roll will enjoy. I highly recommend this one.
The new album from Gideon Smith & the Dixie Damned, 30 Weight (Small Stone), is a dark and gloomy, filthy beast of a record, blessed with Nick Cave-esque vocals and some some very cool tunes that, at times, even dance into Danzig territory. Much fun to be had here.
- Brett Callwood
With one of the most recognizable voices in all of heavy music, the swamp wizard himself, Gideon Smith, returns to howl at the moon with 30 Weight, another album of psychedelic motorcycle blues that has me (and no doubt others of my ilk who have also previously written about The Dixie Damned’s Southern boogie doom) tripping over myself trying to come up with a fresh way to sell the North Carolina band’s super-charmed snake oil. Just like previous full-lengths, 2004′s Southern Gentlemen and 2008′s South Side of the Moon, 30 Weight mixes the spiritual fire-eating of The Cult and the steely-eyed machismo of Circus of Power (see, I’m doing it already) for a deadly concoction of outlaw riffs and acid groove where songs like “Feel Alive” and “Shining Star” are this album’s “Whiskey Devil” and “Shimmering Rain,” respectively. That would also make the song “South” quite self-explanatory, as well. However, Gideon manages to add a few new ingredients to his brew this time around, like a female back-up singer on “Ride With Me” and a couple of covers, including a slow cooked version of Saint Vitus’ “I Bleed Black” and G.G. Allin’s “When I Die,” a poignantly raw country and western song in which Gideon strips it all down, even his voice. While GS&TDD fans will find a familiar comfort in 30 Weight‘s cattle skull savagery, the inexperienced can start here and work their way back down the dusty highway the band has forged without feeling like they’ve arrived late to the midnight ritual dance.
- Jeff Warren
If Gideon Smith were a baseball player, he’d be batting 1.000. His 3rd full length, 30 Weight, is about to hit via Small Stone Records and it’s a winner. Southern hard rock is the best way to describe it but I’m willing to bet you already knew that.
30 Weight has the band’s trademark sound, vocals and all. The overall sound of the album seems to be a bit darker, especially on the tracks “Bleed Black” (a Saint Vitus cover) and “Shining Star” which reminds me of Danzig. The album takes a 360 from the normal towards the end with a much softer, acoustic and more classic country sounding number with “When I Die.” That’s followed up with a more upbeat track “Come And Howl.”
This is a fine album and is one that’s been in my cross hairs since the last album. It didn’t disappoint one bit. The album has a whole range from hard to mellow, high to low. Gideon Smith doesn’t churn out music as quickly as others may, but when he does, it’s always done right. Certainly this is one that will end up on many top lists of 2011, mine included. 30 Weight will be out via Small Stone Records this fall.