A pretty good entry in the dubious Southern metal sweepstakes, Stoned for Murder at least has the good sense to actually hail from the south, namely North Carolina. This six-song debut offers decent songwriting buttressed by good sequencing: one fast tune, one slow tune, rinse and repeat. Primary influences to mine ears seem to be Corrosion of Conformity, Danzig (especially some of those vocal choices) and, oddly enough, Stone Temple Pilots. When he’s not channeling the former Misfits frontman, singer Taylor Edwards is pulling out that gravelly throat-grit that aspires to “psychedelic southern eeriness” (per the band’s bio) but merely reminds me of Blackie Lawless, nothingwrongwiththat thankyouverymuch. The solos are extremely tasty, even this early on in the band’s life, and I look forward to hearing just how much agonizing melody these fellas are willing to inject into their music before they say enough is enough. Closes with the band’s masterpiece (so far), the six-minute dirge “Candyman” that skirts doom, heavy-alt and NWOBHM effortlessly, a minor classic in search of kindred spirits.