Among hell-raising tour stories and loving odes to his wife Sharon, there's a nugget in I Am Ozzy, the entertaining autobiography of the original Black Sabbath vocalist, that sticks with me: Ozzy Osbourne loves The Beatles. The Prince of Darkness, mind you. I kept that in mind while listening to "Valley of the Dolls" from Mind Control, the third album by the U.K. doom-metal band Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats.
The Mellotron-wheezed song moves at a pace too slow to call it Merseybeat, at least nothing to which we could twist or shout. But listen to the nasal, double-tracked vocals glide over those thinly fuzzy riffs — it's as if the Fab Four finally took a trip too far and George Harrison can't move his fingers fast enough. Then there's the Charles Manson-referencing song title, ominous and conspiracy-ridden as "Helter Skelter," with a chorus that slips a crooked hand over the shoulder ("Val-leeeeee of the dooooolls"). Musical hypotheticals aside, Mind Control is yet another strong and gritty '70s-indebted record from Uncle Acid that feels more "pop" than doom — that is, if your definition of pop music is a little more sinister than usual.
Mind Control comes out May 14 on Metal Blade Records.