Wino
"Punctuated Equilibrium"

(Southern Lord 2009)Wino - Punctuated Equilibrium

Scott "Wino" Weinrich has been making quality doom metal for a long, long time. Like, since before most of you were even born long. He's done time in a virtual who's who of doom bands, most notably The Obsessed and Saint Vitus, and lesser known acts like Spirit Caravan and The Hidden Hand. For such a creative and productive mind, it's almost unbelievable that this is his first solo album. And while it'd be easy to assume that this is another wall-to-wall doom effort, "Punctuated Equilibrium" shows that Wino has some more crayons in his box than people may give him credit for.

Right off the bat, "Release Me" sees Wino playing in laid-back Technicolor, reveling in an easy, boozy groove. The fierce title track follows, a surprisingly speedy number that, given a rawer guitar tone, probably wouldn't sound so out of place on a thrash album. "Smilin' Road" is bright Southern blues-rock with Clutch-isms abound (Jean Paul Gaster handles drum duties on the album). "Wild Blue Yonder" is a sprawling jam that gives Wino an excuse to solo for six minutes straight. And longtime Wino fans needn't worry, there are of course pure doom song to be found here. "Eyes of the Flesh" and "Silver Lining" deliver the slow ‘n low thunder that's to be expected from Mr. Weinrich.

Being a Wino solo album, the man himself really shines here. His riffs are forceful, the wah-drenched leads soulful, and his voice is as gruffly masterful as ever. Wino dips into a variety of styles effortlessly and expertly, while giving fans of his more well-known work good reason to check this out too. "Punctuated Equilibrium" highlights Wino's versatility and professionalism, as there's not a dud on the album. While he's sure to be busying himself with various other bands, it would be nice to see Wino find the time to make another solo offering sometime soon.

B+

buy it!