Normally live albums are not good gauges for what a band is capable of. The sound is usually skewed with the vocals being far too loud and the guitars muddled with the bass. Occasionally there are bands that do a really good live album, but Ten Ton Slug’s “Live at the Oaks” is the first album I’ve heard that not only sounds good but is the first offering the band has. It’s a bold venture, to be sure but in Ten Ton Slug’s case it worked out. They managed, in space of 2 songs and 14 minutes, to showcase what they sound like and how they play.
After a few listens I began trying to pinpoint what TTS sounded like, it was somewhere between lamb of god, Terrorizer, and Orange Goblin but realistically it would be a disservice to say that those were the bands that TTS sounds like. They sound like all of them and none of them at the same time. It’s not really a “paying tribute to” sound so much as the distortion and tunings are similar to one and the speed is similar to another. The resulting sound is a comfortingly familiar but fresh and new one that really carries the band.
When I first encountered TTS I was both amused and disturbed by the name because, well because the mental image of a ten ton slug is a different one to say in the least. It’s an image the band has skillfully crafted so as not to look and sound absolutely ridiculous but at the same time they don’t look overly serious (it is a slug after all). TTS is sludge metal that doesn’t take itself too seriously, that has fun with the sound and music, something the metal community at large desperately needs. Their music reflects their attitude, it’s a no holds barred barrage of lightning fast riffs and pounding drums. It’s sludgy, punky, but most of all it’s truly fun to listen to. I know I’ve said that before about bands what does that mean exactly that a band is fun to listen to? Well the sound is catchy and it’s not bogged down with atmosphere and ambience (though I love both of those things) and really gets the blood flowing. It’s music that allows itself to explore and expand, to be a little odd. It’s Ten Ton Slug.
With only two songs in their repertoire, to my knowledge, it’s hard to judge the true extent to what TTS can sound like but if the two songs from this live demo are any clues, it’s going to be a weird and fascinating ride. They recently performed at Bloodstock Open Air so it seems like big things are on the horizon (no pun intended) for this band.
Listen and support!!