Review by Anthony/Metal Shop

(Custom Heavy/Alone Records)

This split, on Spain`s Alone Records, was released in January 2001 and deserves all the praise it gets.

Generous Maria
(Göran Florström - vocals, Jesper Klarqvist - bass, Ulrik Nilsson - guitars, George Winnberg - guitars, Mats Ohlsson - Drums)

Hailing from Gothenburg, these guys get raw and to the point with their in-your-face approach
to music. These tracks were originally off their 1999 `Strict Nurse` CD and were remastered by Alone in Malaga, Spain.

With strong lets-get-rockin rhythms and a burly vocal to split your sides, Generous Maria has power and durability. If you haven`t already checked them out, strap yourself in for the ride. Just as vocalist Göran Florström sings, almost like an adage to live by, on the opening track `Strict Nurse`, you should (always) ".prescribe something real strong, that`ll go straight to my core."

`Strict Nurse` is pure bourbon-ised rock. Perfect for rockin out to in an intimate pub with your mates. And that`s exactly how it feels listening to this track. The mix makes it feel like the band are actually there in your lounge room shaking the floors right out from under you. The style reminding me of a Circus Of Power song with a bit of Helmet, an all out attack on rock riffage! Just the energy and absolute weight they deliver their sound with is enormous.

`Like A Dog With A Frisbee`
Another rockin`n`goer, with straight-up rock beats kickin` it to the floor. I`ve still got that Circus Of Power taste in my mouth, but it`s a sweet one. This track is more up-tempo than `Strict Nurse` and another excellent indication of the power these guys have. The music just seems to flow naturally with each instrument thriving on the next and Göran`s vocals just kick you on your arse!

`Lack Of Faith` brings more of the riffage but with a bit more of a laid back groove. Winding you up with a Soundgarden vs Helmet battle, which explodes into a fuzzed-out solo bursting out of the speakers! I also love the dirty bass, which is how `Brother Pain` is introduced with a darker and almost haunted feel compared to previous tracks. Then comes the riffage, this time with more of the stoner groove mixed in with some psychedelia just to let you know they`ve got it all! I was getting a Doors vibe here and there adding more warmth to this little journey, which seems to take you through each state of mind with a few new ones thrown in too.

(Daniel Lind - vocals/guitar, Linus Fransson - drums, Martin Lind - bass)

From Stockholm, this Kyuss influenced three-piece have been attacking our nervous system since 1998. `Spittin`, `Blue Temple` and `Nitro`s Low` were originally recorded for `The Lotion` demo released in June 1999 with `Swirl` off their February 1999 `Barracuda` release.

At times these guys take bass-driven to a deeper level with groove a heavy ingredient in their sounds. At first I wasn`t really quite sure. Their flavour isn`t as immediate as Generous Maria`s but I`ve realized that they have to be sipped slowly as their taste melts, not only in your mouth, but also your brain.

`Swirl`, does exactly that, spiraling repetitions of fatter than Albert darkness bludgeoning deep into our despairs. The vocals seem not to give too much away in their delivery, choosing to blend more into the entire sound as another instrument. The bass is huge, rumbling up from the bowels of suffering, with pounding beats and a very matchless riff. You can`t quite help but plunge into Skua`s style and I recommend rolling a spliff fatter than the bass to compliment the journey. And I love the solo, buzzing around inside my ears like a battered mosquito.

`Spittin`, oh how you know that the distortion is cranked and hefty when you`re rockin out and mid song a rib gives way. A foggier than Kyuss trip with a deep sense of emotion consuming us from the way they play. Once more the vocals blending like an instrument and during the guitar solo reminding me of the male counterpart to Daisy Chainsaw`s Katey-Jane. This tracks a bit more of a foot-tapper than the previous with the shakers making a guest appearance.

`Blue Temple` is the mother of all tracks and my favourite. A little more cosmically charged than their other additions to this split, with it`s tripped out 60`s meanderings and twisting into a full-on riffed-out freak-out! I`ve mentioned the vocals several times already but when you get to this one, that spliff will have settled nicely and this six-minute transcendence will leave you pondering more than the strength of the weed. And the guitars. I think I`m going to just use mine for firewood now! I wouldn`t mind if this song went on for another hour or so. I really like the other tracks but this one is just so damn cool. Just when you think that`s it, it can`t get any better than this. whoooOoOOOoOOOOOOSSSHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

`Nitro`s Low` - Mixing subwoofer-engulfing bass with enchanting vocals and giving us breath stops from time to time with lighter melodic guitars. One of the only other bands that comes to mind with a bass so low is Budd (If you don`t know them check out `Yakfat` - still one of the best and most intensely chunky albums to date!). That mosquito also returns but even he`s too smashed to conform. I can even hear a bit of Head Like A Hole in their rhythms with a dash of QOTSA, but who cares, it`s all good!

So the outcome, two great bands! Generous Maria hooked me in straight up while Skua had to dangle the line a little longer, but I have fallen for their hypnotic charm. Favourite tracks, still can`t go past `Strict Nurse` and as I said `Blue Temple`.