WHO ARE THEY? The long-running Nashville noise-rock doom-merchants founded and fronted by singer-guitarist and songwriter Steve Austin (not to be confused with the stone cold rassler or the Six Million Dollar Man).
WHAT IS THIS? His 11th studio album since 1993 and first release since 2014’s acclaimed and deeply personal Animal Mother, written in the wake of his mother’s death from Alzheimer’s.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? About five different bands — as usual. Austin’s versatility and anything-goes approach have always set him apart from most of his metal peers. And despite his lengthy absence, the 14-song, 49-minute No Good To Anyone finds him in typically restless and creative form, traversing everything from power-chord riff-rock, psychotic grindcore and thundering speed-metal to sulggish stoner-sludge, proggy psychedelia and moody doom-rock — sometimes all within the space of a three-minute song. Lyrically, death and religion seem to be the topics du jour, based on song titles like Attacked By An Angel, Son of Man, Burn in Hell, Born in Blood and You’re All Gonna Die.
WHAT ARE THE MOST REVEALING LYRICS? “I’m so excited, I’ve lost all control.”
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Today Is Day I Kill You.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? Ear-splittingly loud, preferably alone in a pitch-black, windowless room.
WHAT 10 WORDS SUM IT UP? Aggressive, brooding, cinematic, grim, noisy, oppressive, sludgy, volatile, intense, commanding.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Burn in Hell, which starts off like Royal Trux before bursting into open flame; the pounding Cocobolo; the Sabbathy Mercy.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘This guy is so bizarrely extreme he’s scarier than all those corpse-painted, church-burning Norwegian black-metal bands combined.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO IT? Honestly, not too often — you definitely have to be in the mood for Austin’s relentless intensity — but if it were easy listening, it wouldn’t be TITD.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE PART OF A CASTLE, WHAT PART WOULD IT BE? The dungeon. Complete with torture chamber.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? You tell him you don’t want to pay for it. Good luck with that.