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16 - Dream Squasher

Dream Squasher
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 30 July 2020, 7:01 AM

To break musical paradigms that are solidly stated is a need for those who want to be noted in the world of music. To be like everyone else is to be left aside when the flood caused by trends passes and goes back to its normal place on music. Followers just follow and obey, leaders must break rules, that’s a fact. And the US quintet 16, a veteran with almost 30 years on its shoulders, shows that they leaders with “Dream Squasher”.

Somewhere, they were labeled as a Sludge Metal band, and their work isn’t just it. It’s full of groove and Stoner Metal/Rock touches, rich in nasty and catchy melodies, but always sounding nasty and aggressive as a mammoth walking in a glass shop. The tempos are almost slow and oppressive, but in a way that makes sense, not something that signs to something like ‘we-do-it-in-such-way-because-everyone-do’. It’s melodic, with a very good technical insight, but nasty and aggressive in the right way.

Another difference on their work is that they use a good insight: the dirty and nasty instrumental tunes come from the band’s musical instruments set, not from the recording effects (at least, it’s the impression the sonority gives). So it has a high defined sound quality that allows every listener to understand the musical ideas expressed on the songs.

The album’s ten songs shows a nasty and aggressive work, but with a melodic appeal that catch the listeners, even when the vocals tunes becomes near of grunts. “Candy in Spanish” shows a set of broken tempos, very good groove and nasty guitar riffs; the mix of good melodies with an acid musical approach of “Me & the Dog Die Together” (good work on bass guitar and drums), the darkened and ‘sabbathic’ melodies of “Sadlands” (very good clean vocals), the brutal and oppressive tempos of “Acid Tongue”, the hardcorized essence of “Ride the Waves” (another fine set of guitar riffs), and the melodic crude filth of “Kissing the Choir Boy” can be named as the albums best moments, but it’s a very good release.

Label “Dream Squasher” as you want, but have in mind: 16 is here to stay!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Candy in Spanish
2. Me & the Dog Die Together
3. Sadlands
4. Harvester of Fabrication
5. Acid Tongue
6. Agora (Killed by a Mountain Lion)
7. Ride the Waves
8. Summer of ‘96
9. Screw unto Others
10. Kissing the Choir Boy
Cris Jerue - Vocals
Bobby Ferry - Guitars, Vocals
Alex Shuster - Lead Guitars
Barney Firks - Bass
Dion Thurman - Drums
Record Label: Relapse Records


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