Hello – I’m back with some more morsels! I hope you enjoy what I’ve dug up for you for this episode…
First up this time around we have Sydney quintet Dirt City, who brought out an EP last month which I’ve been sitting on and selfishly keeping to myself… Apologies for that. Anyways they are here now and if the prospect of Nine Inch Nails and Filter getting together for some sinister fun gets your funometer twitching then they just might be the band for you. The outfit really has that skitterish, drug comedown paranoia thing down to a tee – see the vid I’ve attached here (for the band’s excellent single, Squelch) for proof – and their preference for avoiding the overproduced end of metal’s modern gene pool adds to the authenticity and grime of their sound. These guys don’t really attempt to reinvent the industrial rock wheel here, but they do enough to suggest they could be pretty successful in burnishing the genre’s legacy moving forward if early evidence is anything to go by!
20 WATT TOMBSTONE
I’ve been a fan of Wisconsin’s 20 Watt Tombstone since they appeared in our On The Road With… series a few years back, so it was a good news day when I found out that the duo are back with a new release scheduled to hit the racks of good music outlets everywhere next month…
If you’ve not heard the duo – first off, why not? – then you’re in for a treat, especially if you enjoy sludgy, blues-tinged rifferama. By way of example 20WT throw in a cover of ZZ Top‘s 1972 classic Just Got Paid from the album Rio Grande Mud, and a better cover version you’d be hard-pressed to find. Tom Jordan plays the Billy Gibbons role to a tee, his vocals full of syrupy sleaze backed up with a hellacious guitar tone that is just perfect, whilst drummer Mitch Ostrowski keeps things simple n’swingin’, just like Frank Beard. It’s so good you soon stop thinking that the lack of a bassist might hold the guys back!
In a similar style the band also cover Chris Stapleton‘s Midnight Train to Memphis, but for the most part new album The Chosen Few is all their own work and absolutely worth a listen…
ROCKY’S PRIDE AND JOY
Staying on a doom-laden tip we have South Australian power trio Rocky’s Pride and Joy; Formed just three years ago the band have developed a nice sound that adds freshness to trad doom values via a lo-fi indie feel and a non-reliance on sledgehammer dynamics. That’s not to say they ain’t heavy, but it’s refreshing to hear a band operating in this area that isn’t afraid to inject a bit of melody into the mix.
That’s sometimes not melody in a saccharine, earworm sense, by the way. The vocal melodies on the band’s best track, Tunnel Vision, are way off kilter and certainly won’t lead the band to mainstream acceptance, but they do add a certain ethereal something to the blood and guts instrumentation that lifts the track from being merely good to genuinely great. Or at least incredibly interesting, which for this reviewer is just as good.
It’s hard to provide the listener with a point of difference in 2023 when pretty much every stone in the doom landscape has been upturned at some point by now in search of originality, so RP&J are certainly doing something right here. Give them a listen and see what you think!
Western Australian post metal quartet Bolt Gun recently released a single, The Warren, utilising the talents of the one and only Iggor Cavalera on drums, and now find themselves about to release a new album, The Tower, at the end of this week.
Don’t be taken in totally by the Cavalera Connection, however, as fans of latter day Hawkwind or New York extreme noise terrorists Gridfailure are as likely to get hot under the collar about Bolt Gun as dyed in the wool troops of doom. Bolt Gun’s sonic palette is, frankly, gargantuan, with the band drawing on varied influences to create a truly all-encompassing take on the concept of post metal.
Ambient soundscapes appear then disappear, augmented by sparse saxophone or drums, alternating with jarring slabs of dissonance and, every once in a while, something that can be more easily identified as extreme music crashes into the listener’s consciousness. And whilst this might sound a bit kitchen sinky, the constant rotation of ideas and styles actually gives a vibrancy to the music that might otherwise just drift in and out of focus with little for the listener to hold on to. This concept and modus operandi is best exampled on second track The Vulture, where the band use every weapon in their arsenal to create a compelling carnival of noise. Halfway through the track’s ten minute plus duration, you get the feeling you’ve stumbled across an aircraft hangar containing three different bands rehearsing simultaneously, but the band is skilful enough to draw these strands together into a coherent whole that is as captivating as it is confusing.
This ain’t for everyone, obviously, but it’s definitely worth a listen for the more adventurous listeners in our flock…
Norway’s Kal-El are always worth a listen, and their new two-tracker, Moon People, is no exception. I’ll let the band tell you about it themselves: “Moon People is a dish best served loud, and even if conceived in the middle of the dark, harsh Norwegian winter, has a feelgood summer vibe to it. Heavy as bricks, but melodic at the same time. To be honest, it was, in our humble opinion, about time to release some new tracks, so while we write a new album, here are two brand new jams from us – Moon People and Universe! Enjoy, and may the fuzz be with you”
I couldn’t have put it better myself!
As ever, please get in contact if you’d like to feature in future episodes – see you next time for more morsels!