Anyway. Today we’re taking step two on our musical meander through the land down under and all the distorted, fuzzed out, riff-slinging glory it has to offer. All of these tracks are coming from the Art As Catharsis produced compilation, “Drone From the Underside of the Earth” which is up on Bandcamp. I covered the first 6 tracks yesterday and I’ll cover 6 more today, and the next day, and so on.
Opening up today’s can of riff smack is Arrowhead with “Blood From A Stone”. I’m really not sure where this track sits with me. It’s got some pretty sweet guitar and a healthy vintage sound but the vocal score drags me a bit the other way. It’s not a bad song, just not tickling my jiggly bits in the right places. I can guarantee that other people will dig this track, I’m just a picky asshole.
Adrift for Days slows things right down with a 10 minute epic, “Back of the Beyond”. Sparse, meandering guitar, punctuated with haunting vocals and jarring absences of sound. It builds an atmosphere of a great expanse, stretching out as far as you can see, in every direction. About halfway through the song changes pace, as a big, almost sludge-esque riff hammers it’s way forward. A sharper lead guitar dances around the crushing riffs, backed by a choir-like vocal harmony. The entire track is very eerie and keeps things interesting throughout it’s run time.
We jump back over to the heavier side with “PlodTheSnakeCharmer” from Moth. The opening distortion and horror movie sample give you a pretty good inclination of things to come. Filthy and vile sludge metal, hammering forward like a sticky black ocean. We’re not breaking the mold here but showing what happens when you use it properly.
Shellfin’s “Cruzzin” is a bit of an oddball. The guitar track would suggest something that delves a bit deeper into the dark side but the vocals are an entirely clean, hard rock kind of variety. The track has some interesting twists and turns like a pretty sweet chorus of quick riffs and a matching vocal solo. The closing solo also brings some pretty fat grooves to the table.
“Beneath” by In Trenches is a solid sucker punch of wound back hardcore. Like a starved dog snapping at the end of it’s leash, the music is packed with underlying layers of violence and the knowledge that if it ever got off this damn chain, it would rip your fucking skull off. It’s a very cool mix, something like a mix of sludge, post-hardcore and grim determination.
The violence is continued with “The Road Less Traveled” by Summonus. Lo-fi, distorted and grimy, it’s a greasy fist flying at you from across a bloodstained bar. There’s no frivolity here, no musical hanky-panky. Just cut with a rusty knife and punctuated by a hacksaw, death sludge? Sure, that works.
We’re just about halfway through this wondrous musical adventure and have pretty much ran the gamut of styles and genres. You can find the Bandcamp stream below as well as links to Art As Catharsis. Like a band? Go find them, support them and give their grandmothers foot massages. Or just the first two.