Best Album of the Past 12 Months (2009)

Maverick, Gay Witch Abortion

Maverick, the long-awaited first album from the notoriously named Minneapolis duo, is one of the best heavy records the Twin Cities scene has ever produced. The album streamlines doom metal, stoner rock, no-wave, and post-rock into a flat-out blast of raw sonics. Jesse Bottomley's guitar can cover ground ranging from Thurston Moore-esque squalls of distorted noise to the sludgy malevolence of the Melvins' King Buzzo to the snarling, damaged psych of Comets on Fire's Ethan Miller. Only a drummer of Shawn Walker's caliber—lumbering away at authoritative "Iron Man" stomps one moment, firing complex Howitzer fusillades the next—could keep up. Maybe the album's title is a post-RNC poke at the failure of the McCain/Palin ticket, but Maverick's traits are more like those of a different namesake: that car Ford made back in the '70s, rusted out and noisy and threatening to shake itself apart with every mile traveled, but with enough after-market parts under the hood to propel its rumbling husk at uncomfortable velocity.


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