6. Witch Mountain – South Of Salem
First, I must admit I’m entirely impartial when it comes to this band because my friend Nate is the drummer. However, I truly am blown away by how good an album they’ve released. It’s getting called doom because it leans toward the slow and heavy sound of the early 70s, but there are some things they do that other doom bands rarely aim for or achieve. Firstly, they swing like motherfuckers (something Sabbath doesn’t get enough credit for, by the way). Nate Carson’s drumming and Dave Hoopaugh’s bass are one unit, the pocket so enveloping it’s like a 40 Hz womb. Secondly, Rob Wrong’s guitar is one of the least Iommi-inspired of anyone mining that “Hand Of Doom” vein; there is a lot of psychedelic rock in his sound (listen to that fuzz and feedback), to these ears owing more to the Hendrix/Uli Jon Roth lineage than the Iommi/Wino side of things. Top that off with vocalist Uta Plotkin’s power blues delivery and this ain’t your everyday doom band.
Get a sandwich and a cup of coffee at the Grand Central Baking Company in the Irvington neighborhood of Portland, OR. Good food, nice people, and it won’t break the bank.