Caw: An Unkindness of Ravens
The Long and Short of It Caw!: An Unkindness of Ravens (Black Rabbit Rebellion) 8.2 Goes well with: The Jesus Lizard, Bad Brains, Dungeons & Dragons I could spend this whole review discussing the balls-out awesomeness of "Last Transmission of Ghostship Raven," the five-minute opening track on these local metallurgists' new album. It's a stifling blend of metal and hardcore, punctuated by Ben Johnson's ungodly wail and guitarist Matt Strachota's distorted riffage. If I were a UFC fighter and needed to get hyped-up to beat the shit outta some sucka, this would be the song I would listen to. Just ask my wall. But there are moments on Caw! That could certainly appeal to those outside of heavy-rock circles. Sure, it's as hard as anything out there, but where most bands of their ilk stick to a formula passed down since the early '80s, The LASOI drop the posturing and us-against-them pretense to tackle everything from pop culture ("A Brief Dissertation on Entertainment Law"), the apocalypse ("Turtle Island 2012") and, naturally, werewolves and wormholes ("All That Shit's Real"). And they do it all with surprisingly catchy results. Truth is, LASOI's fan base probably won't expand beyond their core demographic. But make no mistake-they've made a small genre masterpiece that people outside of San Diego need to hear. "Is this thing on? / Are you receiving me?" Johnson screams on "Last Transmission." Loud and clear, buddy. -Seth Combs (San Diego CityBeat.