There’s an honesty about sludge.
As a genre, it doesn’t ask for much.
Bands boast nothing and ask only to score in return.
Failure is success.
The honesty of the sludge pursuit is the one thing that jumps out at me in this new release from Northern Ireland’s So Much For The Sun.
You can hear that they’re just immersed in the sound – which believe me, is an infectious thing with a guitar that slimy, prickly and massive. They’ve done really, really well on the tone front.
At first it promises a certain amount of warmth. ‘Two In Black’ reminds of Skullflower with it’s sort of tripped, desert feeling guitar tone – albeit before the weight slams in.
Later, an utterly disgusting guitar seems as if it’s tuned to Z flat, lumbering about suffocating everything else. When you hear the mean little snarls and snorts halfway through ‘Mr Eckles’, it sounds like some awful pig slothing about.
That song, ‘Mr Eckles’ is the best on here by a mile, with a cracking effect where the clean vocals dive in harmony with each other – the fact that they’re badly produced, sat too far back in the mix, only adds to how cool it is.
The tones and styles are quite varied: ‘Sunscraper’s guitar is closer to Type O in it’s fizzy fatness, and it’s a bit more accessible than others. It’s slower and more monged out.
‘Praying To The Sun’ has much more natural groove and heaviness, a punishing snare sound, and dare I say it, quite a pronounced Godflesh influence on the musical side. The brutal vocals, in contrast to the Staley-isms elsewhere show the band mean business.
Weed Priest, Iago and Astralnaut would be obvious comparisons, but this band are their own men with their own very distinct identity. This release is very far from perfect – particularly in the distinctly home-recorded sounding vocals – but there is plenty in here to show that these guys are just inherently cool at what they do.
I could really get into a lot more of it. They’ve had the wit to mix melody and punishing, mic-cupping filth in the vocals, and that variety alone shows they’ve their heads screwed on.
A really great outing from a band I do hope we’ll hear more from.
2.8 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 18/04/16