Back so soon! Welcome to episode seventeen of ‘the big triple M’ as we like to call it here in my Palatial South London residence: There’s more good quality heavy music than you can shake an ear at ready to go, so what are you waiting for? Dig in!

Gnarwhal os
To Canada, Yellowknife to be precise, and the fuzzed-up, whacked-out goodness of Gnarwhal. The band has not long since released a nice little EP, Altered States, that simply oozes class. At times they inject a bit of space rock quirkiness – that should probably be quarkiness, given that first track Tides carries more than a whiff of Hawkwind about it – but for the most part this is wholesome, fuzzy doom of the highest order.

The band are super tight, but there’s a groovy slink to their music that’s undeniably attractive; Guitars crash against the brain mightily, but it’s underpinned by a swinging rhythm section that gives a pleasing elasticity to proceedings that’s hard to resist. Add the odd left turn – Standout track The War/Nothing More morphs into a sort of prog/punk wigout midway through that sounds like UK punk Gods The Subhumans – and you’ve got a beautiful, beguiling little slab o’wax that really deserves a big audience. Give it a go and see what you think!

Moonkill Morsels
Texan punks Moonkill have been extant for a couple of years now, and their eponymous debut album, which has just been released into the wild, is a pretty good introduction to the band’s stripped down sound.

This punk with a new wave/alt feel, so turn back now if you get your jollies from cider and glue-fuelled bacchanalia; That said, I’m sure Chainsaw Bathroom Sex kicks up a little dust live when it gets an airing, and the lack of metallic dynamic in no way means Moonkill don’t bring their own brand of intensity to proceedings. Vocalist Dan has a great voice, perfect for the style of music Moonkill purvey, whilst drummer Fred drives the whole thing with metronomic efficiency, giving a cold framework within which the occasionally vicious guitars of Mario, Dan and Danny bring things to the boil.

Best track Murderhouse would have been an art-punk classic had it have been written in 1976; A spacey, Suicideish intro giving way to angular, menacing axes and Fred’s ever present pulse. It’s truly exciting stuff to listen to, dragging you in and enveloping you as it builds inexorably.

Full Stop is almost as good, and I’ve gotta say that, as far as this kinda sound is concerned, Moonkill won’t have too many bands getting close to them in the remaining months of 2024. If you like your choons on the more refined end of the spectrum, then this could just be your new favourite band.

The Wraith morsels

LA-based deathrockers The Wraith are no strangers to Sentinel Daily, having released an acclaimed album (by me, anyway) a few years back that harnessed the power of early eighties post punk with a crusty, squat-friendly image that really seemed ready to see the band going somewhere with their excellent music.

COVID put paid to all that, of course, just like it did for a multitude of Worldwide hopefuls, but I’m glad to say the band have stuck to their guns, added a new vocalist and returned with a sound that mixes, in their own words, The Southern Death Cult, Spandau Ballet and The Damned

If that sounds like something you might be interested in then I recommend you make your way to your local record emporium and make an investment accordingly, because you are going to love the band’s new album, Ghost March. If I were to add anything to the band’s own comments, I’d simply add that the vocals of new singer Harley Mace actually take the band’s sound away from that Englishness they prize so much. So, although the music still harks back to that time when Wayne Hussey was still in the Sisters of Mercy (have a listen to the start of the superb No Tomorrow for further proof), vocally Mace brings more of a Davey Havok/Andy Biersack vibe to proceedings.

In doing so, he opens up a whole new potential market for the band – it’s had to see fans of UK horror punks Creeper not lapping this stuff for instance – and so, once again, I’m going to predict a rosy future lying  in wait for these blokes.

But for all this talk of change, long term fans of the band needn’t fret – Paul Rogers’ hulking bass lines are still at the heart of everything that’s good about The Wraith – so I’d say there’s no reason at all for any of you reading this who consider yourselves to be ‘of the night’ to not get involved!

Slugcrust morsels

Finally for this edition of MMM we head South Carolina to sample some bass-driven filth courtesy of Slugcrust!

Here we have a pleasingly brutal, uncluttered take on crusty grindcore, taking it’s cues from names like Discharge and Napalm Death but retaining an air of bludgeoning originality thanks to the single-minded insistence of the band that every song should be a short, sharp instrument of singularly nasty aural torture.

At it’s heart, as noted, is the cement mixer vibe laid down by Stacey Williams‘ bass presence. Wall of Sound is a phrase oft-used by writers when addressing the noise they are confronted with whilst reviewing, but it can rarely have been used so aptly as I do so here; Williams literally lays down a constant barrage over which the rest of the band add their own menacing contributions; whether it be breakneck velocity thrashing (The Antitrust) or doom laden sludge overload (Discharge (d)), Williams has a behemothic, immovable tone to suit the occasion…

The band’s new EP Discharge(d) is out at the end of this month and features just under eight and a half minutes of draining, cathartic sound – make sure you don’t miss out if punky grind at it’s most feral is a musical commodity that you’e interested in…

Well, there you go – you asked for quality tuneage and I’d like to think we’ve delivered big time this time around! See you for more in the next edition of Metal Morsels!