Jan-Simon : Retro-rocking trio Black Lung from Baltimore is definitely not a novice. Their new album Ancients turns out to be their third one and the band has played on prestigious festivals such as Freak Valley and Desertfest Belgium. They even got themselves a spot on Rockpalast, the legendary German tv show for live performances. Nevertheless, they managed to avoid my attention for pretty much their entire existence. Perhaps that is because Black Lung chose to focus on a grungy take on old-fashioned power rock. Melodic, nice to listen to and with an alternation between up-tempo rock and almost ballads. Hardly groundbreaking, but that is not always necessary. On the other hand, it is not really noteworthy either.
In any case it is more original than Flying Eyes, the band two thirds of the line-up of Black Lung comes from, produced almost ten years ago. What makes Black Lung different from most bands is the fact they dare to move away from the classic power trio line-up consisting of guitar, bass and drums. With the help of drop tuning and ample use of effect pedals, the band manages to create a full sound despite missing an essential instrument.
The only thing that really misses is good and varied song material. [/I]Ancients[/I] starts promising though. Mother of The Sun is a doomy hard rocker like hundreds have been made before, but only a few reach this level. And the other songs are not even that much worse, it is just much more of the same, with the same echoing vocals, the same distorted guitars and the same format for every song. As a result it sounds as if you are listening to a band that has the automatic pilot switched on. When they reach Dead Man Blues they are back to manual control and the band safely gets back to solid ground. Another forty interesting minutes have gone by. It was nice, they were gone before you realized it and to be honest, I have already forgotten what I heard, which of course is not exactly what a band wants to achieve. Conclusion: not bad, better than Flying Eyes but not unforgettably good.