Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats boast a sound that is unashamedly indebted to their vintage forebears — Black Sabbath, Pentagram, the pillars of ’70s and ’80s metal. And yet, somehow, they strike up a hyper-melodic heaviosity of their own. Mind Control, the combo’s third album, released just as their underground cred reached tipping point, fully justifies the alt-hype, its sludgy riffage overlaid with satanically sculpted tunes. Like its predecessor, 2011′s Blood Lust, it has a chronological narrative, according to its author, singer/guitarist K.R. Stars, “about a cult leader who comes down from the mountain and brainwashes his desert disciples through drugs, love, violence and intimidation.
At a guess, the first four of five piledriving tracks tell of the leader’s initiation of the cult, as they steal motorcycles, ride out to the desert, drop acid and have orgies. Circa “Death Valley Blues,” the mood softens — a first for these Deadbeats. By the climactic killing spree that is “Devil’s Work,” UA&TD are back firing on all sinister cylinders, chugging on explosively into the sunset. It’s mighty, mind-melting listening experience — quite probably the year’s finest.