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J.D. Overdrive - The Kindest Of Deaths Award winner

J.D. Overdrive
The Kindest Of Deaths
by Daniel Fox at 13 June 2015, 5:06 PM

A Southern/Stoner Metal band that sings/screams/bleats/fuzzes about whiskey…

Hailing from Katowice, Poland. Not Florida, Texas or Louisiana. Poland.

J.D. OVERDRIVE, abbreviated from “Jack Daniels” to avoid legal concerns, have been going strong for 8 years, enjoying 3 full-length releases, including this year’s “The Kindest Of Death’s”, rather curiously-titled considering the provocative (and fucking badass) album cover. Featuring an updated and different-shade-of-brown muddy selection of irrevocably heavy tracks, “The Kindest Of Deaths” sounds like something that could have, should have been born and bred in the South. However, instead, these lads instead originated in one of Europe’s Death Metal capitols.

A special kind of Stoner has been achieved in this release. While the band obviously have a love for everything ‘overdrive’ (that bass tone; need I say more?), the album is -NOT- 60 minutes of monotonous fuzz. Rather, the elements and timbres are able to breathe with some semblance of clarity. For instance, the introductory track, the first of two parts, “Wreckage” is definitely the slowest minute-and-a-half on the album, and acts as a slow-spinning vortex, lest you be stuck on its event horizon. Rumbling bass and bluesy leads is essentially what equates this album, and you’ll find most of the elements in the rest of the album familiar once you get through the Doomy intro. It’s sister track, is shoved further back down the tracklist to make way for heavyweights such as “Crippled King”. Thematically one of the ‘heavier’ tracks, it exemplifies the band’s making use of gritty harsh vocals; think “Far Beyond Driven”-era PANTERA. Much like the tracks that follow it, “The Lesser Evil” through “Dull Knives and Dead Friends”, it follows the upbeat, blues-box-fretting riffage archetypal of the genre, with the latter track seeing some of the album’s most explosive moments; certainly one of my favourites.

“Seeds And Stones” provides a glum, Western-y interlude, smack-bang in the middle of the album, right before we launch into one of the album’s more uproarious and dynamic tracks, “The Greater Good”, with rumbling verses and a powerful chorus, and an ounce of a MOTORHEAD vibe. The follow up part to “Wreckage” is easily another album favourite for me, containing chord progressions that ooze with… I don’t know if this can be applied to music: sheer sex appeal. 60% fuzzy chugs as opposed taking up 90% of the song, it features many soaring highs and crisp, thinly-arranged low points to give the instrumentation some breathing space; overall, an exhilarating, roller-coaster adventure. The album closes with its title track, and at a whopping 10 minutes it’s going to be hard to digest. With the majority of the track arranged in a minimalist, down-tuned fashion, the vocals seem to be flying overhead, almost dissonant from the rest of the riffs. With a much more amorphous and liquid structure than the rest of the 4/4 chorus-verse-chorus tracks that make up this album, it definitely shows a more adventurous and grim side to the band’s songwriting repertoire.

This could easily be a contender for one of the better Stoner albums this year; along with EXLIBRIS or UNSUN, J.D. OVERDRIVE prove that Poland doesn’t just produce excellent Death Metal.

5 Star Rating

1. Wreckage Part I
2. Crippled King
3. The Lesser Evil
4. Fury in Me
5. Dull Knives and Dead Friends
6. Seeds and Stones
7. The Greater Good
8. Demon Days
9. Wreckage Part II
10. A Painful Reminder
11. The Kindest of Deaths
Wojtek 'Suseł' Kałuża - Vocals
Michał 'Stempel' Stemplowski - Guitars
Łukasz 'Jooras' Jurewicz - Drums
Marcin 'Stasiu' Łyźniak - Bass
Record Label: Metal Mind Productions


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