MUSIC REVIEWS: Riddle of Steel

Got This Feelin' Ascetic
Music •••½ Sound •••
These guys share their name with a pen-and-paper role-playing game steeped in medieval/Renaissance swordsmanship. But they're from St. Louis, and as you'll hear from the first two tracks of Got This Feelin', they pledge allegiance to the royalty of both King Crimson and Queens of the Stone Age. Or as their press release says, "Tempo changes are sexy, kids" - especially when delivered with hooks as hot as these. Guitarist Andrew Elstner and bassist Jimmy Vavak focus the dynamics of the previous Python and, backed by compelling new drummer Rob Smith, deliver a mostly Jawbox-dropping set. From the circular riff of "This Is a House of Lies" and the choppy chords of "Detroit Flu" to the album's Floydian coda, "Aquiline," Riddle of Steel cuts like a knight.