Brand new Texas quartet Peth are definitely doing their part to “keep Austin weird” with their upcoming full-length debut, Merchant of Death. Though the band variously lists “central Texas” and “Jonestown, Texas” as its hometown, the album was recorded in Austin, and Jonestown is a half hour from the state’s capital, so we can safely assume that the “weird” in this buncha throwbacks comes honestly. Merchant sounds like it was recorded 50 years ago (or 40 years ago) and leans heavily into Sabbath (Ozzy and Dio eras), Pentagram and Thin Lizzy, with a little bit of good ol’ Tejas Roky Erickson weirdness. Also, the title track is a fairly shameless rewrite of/homage to Sabbath’s “The Wizard.”
Full marks, though, to Peth for their full-throated dedication to proto metal with such sincerity. Everything about this has the feel of another era—from the reverbed-out vocals to the fuzz-driven guitars to the loose groove of the rhythm section. Merchant is a solid opening salvo. The album was recorded at l Lunatic Sounds Studios in Austin,TX by Gian Ortiz and Mastered by Brandon Moscheo. It’s set for release May 27 on vinyl and digital via Italy’s Electric Valley Records. You can preorder it in various vinyl configurations here and here and here.
Here’s what the band had to say about its debut:
“Merchant Of Death is a mixed bag of songs from our beginning days as Peth; there are influences in this album spanning from all of our different ideas of what sound and direction we wanted to take this band. In it, you’ll hear us take dramatically different routes from one song to the next while still trying to capture a certain one true sound. In this quest, we’ve felt we finally accomplished our goal, and Merchant Of Death is the cornerstone for what’s to come in the future.”