Suck Out The Poison is such a weird record, for a variety of reasons.
For me, He Is Legend’s second release suffers from the so-called sophomore slump because for a lot of the album, the band sounds like it’s trying too hard to be something they decidedly were not.
The album came out in 2006, one of a few huge years in a row of Southern heavy metal. Maylene had stormed on the scene with their self-titled debut and II, and I feel like that was the sound to have then. Maybe that’s just my limited perspective, considering I’ve spent my entire life to this point living in the deep south.
I mean, true, I Am Hollywood was somewhat rooted in the Southern influence (see: the gnarly first bridge on “The Seduction”), but still leaned heavily on a metalcore backing. Suck Out The Poison, as both the name and cover imply, embraces twang and Skoal and Jack Daniels and jean cut-offs and corn dogs and Walmart and banjos and butter-heavy starches and wraparound porches and the rebel flag.
But the South will not rise again.
No matter how many people tell you differently down there, till they’re blue in the face. Or red in the face, as it were.
My biggest gripe with Suck Out The Poison is its near complete abandonment of I Am Hollywood-era riffs and song structure. It doesn’t even feel like the same band at times, in spite of Schuylar Croom’s pleghmmy vocals.
Much of this album is a pass for me, with two exceptions: “Attack of the Dungeon Witch,” which (naturally) is the album’s first and only single, manages to incorporate what worked best for the band from the album previous.
And “Cannonball Hands (The Tomato Parade)” may just be the most dynamic song the band has ever recorded – which is striking, both because of its nonsensical title and the fact that it’s an instrumental just shy of two minutes long.
Otherwise, I have a hard time slogging through this record. It feels foreign, especially in the light of their next release, the tremendous It Hates You.
From their sophomore release Suck Out The Poison, this is He Is Legend’s “Attack of the Dungeon Witch” –
Standout tracks: “Attack of the Dungeon Witch” and “Cannonball Hands (The Tomato Parade)”
Weakest track: Uhhh… “Opening”? What are you?
RIYL: Truck Nutz.