Iron Jawed Guru

 

I don’t know how often boxing or boxing terminology crosses over into music, or at least has a hand in naming bands, but it seems kinda few and far between. To my knowledge anyway. Perhaps most famously an example being the outstanding Glassjaw, whose output helped define the landscape for post-hardcore and its endless ilk today. I’m sure there’s half a dozen bands or so that are called Southpaw too, one of which I know are pretty good. Any more for any more? I got the Prize Fighter Inferno, The Boxer Rebellion and Title Fight (well, can be applied to boxing), but I think that’s all I came up with after some serious thought. I’ve never heard of an iron jawed guru though, unless that refers specifically to one of the greatest of all time, like a Floyd Mayweather or a Muhammed Ali or something. Part of me wishes it was something to do with having a mechanically reconstructed deity, but that’s my imagination going walkabouts. Onto the topic at hand though, Iron Jawed Guru is actually the namesake of a West Virginia based instrumental hard rock duo, whose primary objective is to conceive the most electrifying musical stampedes imaginable, solely based on just a guitar and drums. Last year saw the birth of the Caldera EP, a six-song sledgehammer that introduced those who tuned in to a cavalcade of white-hot riffs and a gallant drum performance, with enough speed and force to blast your stomach out through your spinal column. Their first full-length album Mata Hari continues that trend, remaining as unrelenting, never taking its foot off the accelerator for a second. While only seven songs in length, the rapid fire bursts of stellar hard rock action are an absolutely storming affair, with undeniably the most fun reaching the album’s climax Vesuvius. It seems they left the longest track until last to illustrate the best of their impressive toolset. Vesuvius opens like walking calmly into a saloon, seeing through the viewpoint of vigilante justice, sizing up every antagonist in the vicinity while keeping hands close to guns. The guitar and drums are an excitingly tense interplay, keeping a fine balance of riffs and groove in an almost Western blues-inspired tone, if such a thing exists. Confidence and charisma simply oozes out of their musicianship, two men possessed and intent on making all hell break loose and having the balls to butt heads with the Devil as he emerges. But much like the volcano itself, the pressure builds up too much and it begins to trickle over with the pace increase, before spurting white hot magma in every conceivable direction. If this was that Western saloon shoot out, justice by the bullet load would be unfolding as the lone gunslinger lets the occupants taste three inches of lead, from each furious guitar lick and snare bash. And there’s a lot of them in the space of the final minute. All in all, it’s a terrific thrill ride that showcases the talents of two incredible musicians, who are aiming for that lucrative title fight and have all the credentials and necessary ability to be a dominant force, and hoist that belt high above their heads.

Mata Hari is out now on Grimoire Records, which can be obtained on a digital and physical capacity from their Bandcamp page, and I highly recommend doing so. Otherwise, Caldera can be bought from their own Bandcamp page and also well worth your investment. You can find their music in most respectable music retailers too if you wish to do so that way.

Go buy them the equivalent of a social media drink:

https://www.facebook.com/IJGrock/?fref=ts

And you’re more than welcome to do the same for me if you so wish, be it a like, follow or subscription:

https://www.facebook.com/IAmTheSoundshark/
https://twitter.com/The_Soundshark

 

Jaw Bones

I’d like to think dentists have a hidden agenda as to why they are in the business they are in. Let’s face it, they are in one of the best paid professions possible in society that doesn’t involve being a fat cat corporation figurehead or a banking tycoon. What could go beyond profiteering off of our health defects? Childhood trauma? Sadism? Teeth fetish club? Personally, my money is on that when faced with a biting power the size of Thessaloniki, Greece’s Jaw Bones, their immediate reaction would be to neutralise the threat, because it is scarily powerful. So dentists are keepers of peace by weakening the pearly gnashers we carry in our mouths, to quell any overpowering urge to crush with them. That highly fantastical musing aside, Jaw Bones are indeed a forceful and dominant outfit in the Mediterranean stoner scene, since their inception in 2006 and subsequent rebirth following the departure of key members, completely justifying their namesake. Their roots primarily lie in grunge a la Alice In Chains, but there’s elements of Tool certainly in their work as well as more thrash and punk creeping into their more recent material. The band have been hard at work on their debut LP for a number of years, but certainly solidifying their live status as some of Greece’s most exhilarating live performances in recent times. Supporting the likes of Therapy?, Clutch and 1000Mods is a stamp of approval enough on their license to thrill. Though their recorded output only so stretches as far as a three song EP, the potential tower of strength and wealth of talent is undeniable. Ego Tripper reaches the apex of stoner rock nirvana, with vocal harmonies touching that Alice In Chains nerve ever so gently, whilst taking the odd moment to descend into some soft funk. A Thousand Masks certainly is a far harder, darker affair, wearing that Tool influence with pride and calculating how to destroy everyone in its vicinity as efficiently as possible. Last but not least, Fear takes the band on that promised rampage, taking a flamethrower’s worth of riffs and torching its surroundings with white hot intensity, before incredible primal howls flatten everything still remaining. Fear? Damn right it’s fearsome. If the dentist story were true, on the considerable scale and vigour of Jaw Bones’ grunge avalanche demonstrated in just three songs, quite rightfully they should be in awe of their might. The best thing is there is more to come, and fans of hard rock with teeth to crush and maul everything in their wake should be excited by that appetising prospect.

The aforementioned EP can be bought from their Bandcamp page, in digital format on a pay-what-you-want basis, or physical format for a bargain. Footage of some more recent material can also be found on YouTube, courtesy of Contemporary Bohemians in Bulgaria. Go check their YouTube channel too.

https://www.facebook.com/JawBonesTheBand?fref=ts