Iron Tongue: The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown.
Metal bands aren’t particularly noted for their sensitivity or heart-wrenching sentiment. Arkansas’ Iron Tongue, however, is that rare exception. They may be harder than Chinese arithmetic (hence the Iron in their moniker), but they’re an overflowing pressure cooker of emotion. Because in the South, that’s how we roll. Brothers and sisters got soul.
On their debut CD, they swagger like a backwoods Nick Cave (“Ever After”), rumble like a jacked up Molly Hatchet (“Witchery”), and headbang like a meth-addled Leslie West (“Said N Done”). “Skeleton” is the sound of Black Sabbath if they were from Birmingham, AL instead of Birmingham, UK. “7 Days” swings like the Allman Brothers if they were grave robbers.
Lead singer Chris “CT” Terry (also of Arkansas metal band Rwake) has a voice of tree bark and molasses, like he’s screaming lyrics through a hillbilly whiskey jug. He sounds like Lucius Clay walking around Wooley Swamp at night.
Add some haunting background vocals from Stephanie Smittle, some tasty B3, a concrete wall of riffs, and what do you get? Tony Iommi with a southern drawl and Danny Joe Brown with devil horns. It’s like a band of hairy rednecks broke into your house, cooked up some fatback, canned all your green beans and apple preserves, and made you listen to Bathory records.
Welcome to sludge country.
The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown is a southern fried revelation. Dig in.
Michael Franklin is the Media & Reserves Specialist at Western Kentucky University’s Visual & Performing Arts Library (VPAL). Michael is also a professional musician and sound engineer. He is currently recording his 6th CD with his best friends Screenlast 6.0 and Audacity Sourceforge. He thinks Iggy Pop is the greatest singer in the history of music. If you disagree, you’re wrong. You better ask somebody.
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