92. Eyehategod, 'Take as Needed for Pain' (1993)
There's always been a darkness underlying the jubilation of New Orleans music, but it took a band of drug-crazed outcasts to elevate the Big Easy bummer vibe to mythic proportions. Weaned on Black Sabbath and Melvins' lumbering 1987 debut, Gluey Porch Treatments, the band initially set out to "play as slow and aggravating as possible and just destroy people," as vocalist Mike Williams put it in Decibel. Their second full-length retained that raw, confrontational M.O. while refining their punk-blues bludgeon into something almost stylish. Standouts, such as "Blank" and the title track, hammer the listener with turbulent riffs before downshifting into heaving swing rhythms that drive home the band's fluency in the funkier aspects of NOLA's musical culture. "Sister Fucker (Pt. 1)," meanwhile, marries vile imagery with hip-shaking boogie rock. The band found the perfect foil in engineer Robinson Mills, whose warm, no-frills tones complemented Williams' acrid screech, the menacing swells of feedback on tracks like "30$ Bag" and unsettling police-scanner-inspired noise piece "Disturbance." While bands such as Crowbar and the Southern supergroup Down (which featured Eyehategod guitarist Jimmy Bower behind the drums) would also serve as able ambassadors for New Orleans metal, none of them would capture the city's seedy rebel spirit quite as effectively as Eyehategod did here. Eventually, these one-time pariahs became local legends, even winding up with a cameo on Treme. H.S.