Annihilation Time - III: Tales of the Ancient Age (LP) Cover Art

Annihilation Time - III: Tales of the Ancient Age (LP)

  • $18.99

Origin: USA
Released: 2008
Catalog number: TPE-086
With fuzzy riffs, elongated solos and twin guitar leads ala Maiden, this is a Hessian's dream. On III: Tales of the Ancient Age, Annihilation Time leaves the D.R.I. thrash influence in a cloud of bong smoke to focus on their shredding. That is, when they aren't ingesting chemicals, breaking bottles, or diving into the broken glass. And that's why thrashers and crusties still covet this so. Not so much a party band like Municipal Waste or Spring Break, Annihilation Time is a band that happens to party. Better, they are a band that incites a party. Clearly a stoner rock band - the mustaches and denim vests prove it so - they still have the strong punk ethos in their lyrics: work sucks, get fucked, let's rage.

Oakland’s Annihilation Time are a rare, rare find for the aught years—a prodigiously talented and punk-derived guitar band that is familiar with the honest-to-goodness musical language of rock. Their third album finds the band stronger than ever, with a crushing rhythmic core and dueling guitar solos that are not only muscular and modest but purposeful. The effect of this record is something like Thin Lizzy (or maybe James Gang) if they’d signed with SST Records in ‘82. Black Flag is the clear precedent for this music, or rather this type of rhythmic drive. The rhythm section of bassist Chris Grande and drummer Noel Sullivan recalls the dynamic duo of Flag’s Kira Roessler and Bill Stevenson at their peak—a forceful, tumbling machine that seemed incapable of derailing despite the utter chaos in the guitars and singing.

What distinguishes AT from their forerunners is the absence of awkward melodic left turns in the guitar playing, and the absence of macho-dude posturing in Jimmy Rose’s vocals. This is a punk-derived rhythm section with nothing but pure hard rocking and slightly warped, riffy goodness on top (guitarists Wes Wilson and Graham Clise are simply unstoppable). Perhaps that puts them more in the Didjits’ camp than Black Flag’s. But to reduce AT to the sum of their influences is belittling; though their influences are apparent, this beast fights its own fight.