Review: Premonition 13 – 13

Premonition 13 is the latest project of Scott “Wino” Weinrich, whose involvement in heavy music over the past 30 years – be it in St Vitus, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand or Shrinebuilder – has granted him “legend” status in the eyes of many, and this record demonstrates that he’s still far from exhausting his love of the craft. 13 feels somewhat looser than Wino’s other recent projects; dropping the heavy-hearted introspection of his acoustic album Adrift, and rising out of the moody dirge that defined the Shrinebuilder debut. These songs have basis in jam sessions that have been going on for the past 20 years between Wino and guitarist Jim Karow, and the most prominent thought that hits me while listening to them is that it’s a record for guitarists that simply enjoy playing – this is rocking out in the most primitive sense, even if it’s blissfully at the expense of the occasional cheesy lyric or metal cliché.

Opener “B.E.A.U.T.Y” is one of the stronger cuts though, and swaggers effortlessly out of the e-bow intro into lumbering powerchord progressions, fizzing out of amplifiers over a clean and heavy drum production. Jangling chorus dominates the softer moments, although the re-entry into distortion always comes before the track can stoop into sombreness. Similarly, “Le Hechicera De La Jeringa” feeds a menacing groove into its doom-tinged outro, but there’s the sense that Wino only wishes to linger at such a pace for so long before the track’s “trademark” riff comes back in to raise the energy levels again.

Although 13 starts to grate when the likes of “Modern Man” stoops too indulgently into anthemic metal parody, or when the tedious two-chord riff “Hard To Say” gives way to some cringably empty lyricism. Both perhaps pack a little too much tongue in the proverbial cheek, and feel rather cheap and obvious for someone of Wino’s calibre. This is a solid record in all though, and while the more obvious and parodic moments have me questioning whether I’m taking too much (or too little?) of it seriously, the majority of 13 is too enjoyable for me to care.