Victor Griffin's In-Graved - Victor Griffin's In-Graved (Svart Records)

Victor doing what Victor does best...
Release Date: 
21 Mar 2013 - 11:30pm

If you need this putting in a nutshell, here goes: Victor Griffin can do no wrong really can he?

It’s a rhetorical poser I’m putting out there, but if you look at Vic in the cold late of day, you have to say the answer to it is no, no he can’t. Because Griffin very early on in the piece identified the kind of music he loved, and the kind of music he’s pretty good at producing himself, merged the two to provide him with a template that he hasn’t deviated from whoever he’s axe slinging in the service of and… CABOOMMMM!!! – successful career as an underground hero assured! Never leaving any room for experimentation, much less failure, means it’s hard to go off the rails that often, no?

A bit cynical I know, and I don’t mean to be because I absolutely love this record, but what I just said is pretty true I think.  Griffin is the king of what he does, laying on the doom thick with a guitar tone so thick n’creamy that even the master Iommi must have nightmares when he hears it, but he never really looks to go above and beyond. Consequently if you’ve heard and liked anything the man has done before you know you’ll like …In-Graved, and as my Northern friend Joff might say ‘there’s nowt wrong wi’that young ‘un’, it’s just… bugger it. Let’s just enjoy it for what it is, shall we?

What it is, is bloody great.  Whether indulging in some carefree, freewheelin’ soloing over a swirling Hammond backdrop (as he does on the catchy and surprisingly breezy Late for an Early Grave) descending into a bit of moody introspection (the adamantine creep of Fading Flower) or even dipping his toes in a bit of punky, speed freak frippery (closing track Never Surrender) Griffin never fails to deliver the goods on ...In-Graved.  Even when he has a go at keyboard warriors such as myself on the slightly embittered yowl of opener Digital Critic you’ll find yourself smiling, like I did, and howling along, just pleased to hear that guitar sound coming out of the speakers again. For all my (very reasonable) reservations, this is an unqualified success of an album.