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July 15, 2024

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Zoloft Smile (self-released)

By: Jeb Branin

You can count on one hand the bands that are as cool as 16. After a decade of pounding nails into the aural cavities of extreme music fans worldwide, 16 are releasing a new batch of tunes that clearly demonstrate that (unlike most bands) they are not mellowing with age. If anything they are getting more intense, more angry and more raging. Originally recorded about two years ago, it is great to finally see these tunes hit the streets. I was fortunate enough to get an advance of this when it was recorded and, I gotta tell ya, I've listened to it non-stop for the last 24 months. Although often lumped in with the extreme sludge bands, 16 are really a beast of several configurations. Yes, they have the anvil pounding heaviness and distortion of sludge but they are also deformed and ugly like good noise-rock bands. They have the high quality song writing and classic guitar raunch of punk rawk 'n roll but also sport a metal infatuated underpinning that get the ole' neck a thrashing. They may be blood brothers of the likes of EYEHATEGOD but they are the ugly stepchilden of FLIPPER as well. How any extreme music fan can possibly NOT be blown away by this is beyond me. Every time I slip this disc in I end up cranking the volume all the way up and forgetting the world around me... like I am wrapped in a cocoon... a cocoon made of glass shards and barbed wire.
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