Baroness – ‘Yellow And Green’

A collection of anthems-in-waiting

The first couple of releases from Baroness packed a fair old punch. ‘Red Album’ and ‘Blue Record’ were concoctions of crusty sludge-metal as baking as a summer in their home state of Georgia, but the band were orthodox hard rockers at their core, never all that extreme. Until ‘Yellow And Green’, their third album, that is: totalling 75 minutes and spread, slightly unnecessarily, over two CDs, it reaches unexpected new heights in the pantheon of ‘metal bands who mellowed out’. Next to some of the quartet’s excursions into dour indie-folk (‘Twinkler’) and their inexplicable lower-division Radiohead-isms (‘Back Where I Belong’), equivalent career curveballs by Cave In, Mastodon and Metallica seem positively monstrous. Rather than write this off as a complete dud, though, be prepared to do your own editing. Baroness might not be jacks of all trades, but they are innately skilled riff writers and songcrafters. As such, ‘Little Things’ and ‘Board Up The House’ are among a handful of anthems-in-waiting.

Noel Gardner

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