'The Dirt Road To Inspiration'
Milwaukee's Lockjaw may not be an international name, but the US-based industrial metal band have been slogging away for years and scoring support slots with acts such as Mudvayne, Type O Negative, Wednesday 13, Prong, KMFDM, Powerman 5000, Lords of Acid and Marilyn Manson. An impressive curriculum vitae by anyone's standards. The band have now released their ninth album 'The Dirt Road To Inspiration'. A blend of slow and hard southern metal riffs accented with sexy electronics.
The band's sound recalls the likes of early gODHEAD, White Zombie, Pigface and Prong. Quintessentially American and with a nod to the post-Wax Trax / Nothing Records atmosphere of the 90s alternative scene. Songs like 'Good Girls Go To Hell', 'Divine', 'Earth Bound', 'Passive Aggressive' and 'The Great Oppression' are ruthlessly addictive with their memorable riffs, danceable tempos and sing-a-long lyrics. The band even throw a couple of curve balls at the listener with the dark country strains of 'Waiting Room' and the restrained sexiness of 'Black Clementine'.
The production is a little rough around the edges and in the odd place the mix seems to go a little awry when the vocal effects get a bit swamped by the other electronics. However, this is a raw and honest portrait of the band's sound. What you hear is what you get; heavy, groove-laden industrial metal that couldn't fail to tick the boxes for most people.
Nine albums in and the Midwest's best kept secret have a real attention grabber on their hands with 'The Dirt Road To Inspiration'. Fifteen years of hard work has been finely honed into a catchy and well-rounded industrial metal album. With the right label backing and promotion there's no reason why Lockjaw couldn’t break their regional bonds and strike out further afield across the nation.