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I have two things to say before I start this one off. Firstly, considering these guys are from Nottingham, which isn't too far from me, I'm wondering why I've never heard of Widows before and, secondly, this promo CD was sent to me with no PR blurb so I've done some searching of my own. It appears that this was originally released in April 2012 to favourable words but there are also several much more recent reviews so I am assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that this has been re-released. Regardless of that, Widows' debut album, 'Death Valley Duchess', is a decent slab of hard and heavy stoner rock. Often when a band cites influential bands on a website or Facebook page I'm sometimes left scratching my head as to what bit influenced them but, in this case, Widows have named three bands and have got it absolutely spot on. Kyuss, Clutch and Down are the names and if you like any of them then 'Death Valley Duchess' is going to be an album you'll want in your collection. This album was apparently written after vocalist Adam Jolliffe and guitarist James Kidd made a pilgrimage to the Californian desert to look for inspiration. An expensive way to do it perhaps but it did the trick because you certainly wouldn't think Widows come from the UK when you listen to them.

'Green Tsunami' kicks things off nicely and, for eight of the nine songs, the tempo doesn't let up. Apart from having a great title, 'Fuck Knuckle' is also a good track as is 'Something For Deities'. On the minus side, Jolliffe's vocal melody lines are quite similar, as are the songs themselves, so more variety would be welcomed. Only one song deviates from the blueprint and that is the title track which closes the album. There is a problem with that, though, in that discordant guitar and bass notes with spoken word passages from people describing the hostile nature of Death Valley might be considered an arty piece of music, but a catchy song it does not make and unless you've been on some strong weed then it'll unlikely be a track you play very often. I know I won't. Overall, though, this is a solid debut and a good base from which to branch out and make things a little more interesting on the next album. I'm going to be keeping an eye on Widows from now on and will also be aiming to catch them live a couple of times over the coming year.
Bad News Records
Review by Rick Tilley
1) Green Tsunami
2) Goat Lab
3) Fuck Knuckle
4) Truckules
5) Kiss of Failure
6) Whores of Babylon
7) Something for Deities
8) Parentheses
9) Death Valley Duchess
"...a decent slab of hard and heavy stoner rock."