Sunday, April 15, 2012

Artimus Pyledriver
"High Life"

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Artimus Pyledriver
Southern Fried E.P.
(self-released, 2004)

If you're gonna pick a band name based on a silly pun*, you better have the goods to back it up. Luckily for Artimus Pyledriver, they had 'em in spades.

For the few years they were around, Artimus Pyledriver were the ruling kings of the Atlanta metal scene . . . in my opinion, at least. They sported a sound that mixed a rooting in classic southern and hard rock with influences like hardcore punk and metals of the stoner and thrash variety. Their first release was this snazzy lil' self-released CDR EP, and it's the source of today's jukebox selection.

Sometime after the release of this EP, they got picked up by Belgium's Buzzville Records, who released their eponymous debut CD. All the songs from the initial EP appeared, but not in the same versions. As to how a band from Atlanta got signed by a label on the other side of the planet, Buzzville had previously released the debut album by their fellow Atlantans Gonzalez.

I must confess to not knowing a lot about the band members, but at least one was a scene veteran; bassist Mike Faulkner had played with Din, with whom my band Meat played a show back in the early/mid '90s. Sometime after that show, they changed their name to Big Twin Din and appeared on the Metal Massacre XII compilation.

After touring a bit, Artimus Pyledriver got picked up by DRT Entertainment in the States, and their album got issued on my and their side of the pond, sporting new cover art, a new mix, and an additional cut. Interestingly, the version of today's song had gotten an acoustic, country blues intro for the Belgian release, but it was removed for their countrymen. The world is, indeed, a strange place.

Sadly, after the album hit these shores, the band began to fall apart. They announced some upcoming split releases with Hank III, but they never materialized, to the best of my knowledge. Vocalist Dave Slocum temporarily took over the mic for another local metal combo, Doomsayer, and that was the last I heard of any of them.

They did shoot one official video, for the song Swamp Devil and I've included it below. You'll notice Dave does a lot of jumping. He did that at shows all the time. I used to wonder when he was gonna land wrong and snap off an ankle.

*Artimus Pyle was the drummer for the classic line-up of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the piledriver is, of course, a professional wrasslin' move.

1 biased opinion:

Holly said...

Re video - that cars kicks a**!
And the vale/glen/whatever where they filmed looks like it's usually a lovely peaceful place :-)