Consider Stinking Lizaveta the heavy-metal equivalent of weed. The instrumental three-piece is a gateway band, offering a tantalizing taste of metallic nirvana but foregoing the harsh vocals and atonality that could put off a Wolfmother defector looking for something a bit heavier. That’s not to say that Stinking Lizaveta has nothing to offer the seasoned headbanger, just that the joys of the band’s fifth album, Scream of the Iron Iconoclast, are elemental, simple ones: groovy unison riffs, mondo solid backbeat, pinch harmonics and fuzzy, sexy solos.
Brothers Yanni and Alexi Papadopoulos (guitar and upright bass, respectively) have been pounding out the hits with drummer Cheshire Agusta since 1994, and by the sound of riff monsters like “Gravitas” and “Indomitable Will,” the well is far from dry. Let’s call it a coincidence that Steve Albini manned the mixing board on both Iconoclast and Stinking Lizaveta’s other great album, 1996’s Hopelessness and Shame. Albini may have hit the “record” button this time around, but he was also lucky enough to be capturing Stinking Lizaveta at a career peak.