The mighty Norma Jean is back with their sixth full-length release, Wrongdoers. I am a huge fan of the band and after a significant lineup change was not sure what to expect from this new effort. Thankfully the first track, “Hive Minds,” immediately put me at ease. A brief intro gives way to a catchy, groovy guitar riff that is topped off by Cory Brandan Putman’s unique, signature rasp. From then onwards the listener is off to the races, once again traversing the noisy, heavy, experimental landscape that is Norma Jean.
One of the things I really like about listening to a Norma Jean record is that you never know what to expect; they never really write within the confines of any one genre and are almost impossible to predict. Wrongdoers is no exception as while “If You Got It At Five, You Got It At Fifty,” is a fast and furious, face-melting tune, “Sun Dies, Blood Moon,” (a song clocking in at more than 14 minutes) is just as intense, yet a slow burner with surprises around every corner. Additionally, Putman’s voice is in top form and the new band members have injected the music with a welcome and noticeable level of intensity and energy.
This might very well turn out to be my favorite Norma Jean release. Period. There are no duds or fillers here at all. Every song stands up by itself, but I feel the overall experience is really enhanced by listening through in its entirety. An absolutely outstanding effort from the group.
01. Hive Minds
02. If You Got It At Five, You Got It At Fifty
04. The Potter Has No Hands
05. Sword In Mouth, Fire Eyes
06. Afterhour Animals
07. The Lash Whistled Like A Singing Wind
08. Neck In The Hemp
10. Funeral Singer
11. Sun Dies, Blood Moon
Run Time: 51:24
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Check out the song “If You Got It At Five, You Got It At Fifty”