RETRO GRAVE Again (2008, Upland)

The skull:
A quickie still life, probably done digitally but at least pretending to be an oil sketch or something, this is actually pretty classy as big dumb skulls go, but every bit as unambitious as the rest. Considering how badly this band wants to be 40 years older than they are, it’s kind of funny how little effort they put into the typography and design of this cover. The illustration might have passed retro muster, but nothing else does.

The music:
Psychedelic stoner metal, as you could probably have guessed. Total 70s style throwback music. Like Witchcraft or more recent acts like Blood Ceremony and Kadaver, Retro Grave don’t make even the slightest effort at originality, content to emulate their inspirations in every way: musically, sonically, aesthetically. Retro Grave is the work of one Jeff Olson, whose greatest claim to fame is as a footnote in Trouble’s history. Weirdly, this album was actually recorded and released twice, which makes the title sadly literal. Poor Friar Wagner also had to listen to this crap, but his review was swallowed by the cruel gods of the database, and I didn’t have the heart to make him review this stinker a second time.
— Friar Johnsen

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