This may be the single best thing I’ve been listening to the last
six months year. It’s one of those albums that continues to call to you, even after that initial glow of purchasing it has worn off: surprisingly, this is not because of it’s complexity (the “the more you listen to it the more you hear” effect), but rather its opposite– over its 44 minute running time, there are only six (6) riffs on this thing.
Sloath, however, from the southern coast of England, have that thing, that suhin-suhin, that make those riffs WORK. The whole album is tuned to C standard, and it’s the perfect tuning: low enough to rumble your bowels, not so low it’s just sonic mush. This is sludge/ stoner metal at its best:
…So simple, hypnotic, spiraling in cycles (not “repetitive”) it’s practically mantra music (and indeed, musically has much in common with Buddhist and Hindu chants)– and there are very few vocals, though there is a singer (who doesn’t play anything else, and must be so bored, or stoned, on stage). Most of the vocals are actually instrumental effects, like the aforementioned chant, or distant screams or moans (which are strangely soothing– generally not a quality of the scream unless you’re a sexual sadist– but I’m not judging, it’s whatever*). There is, too, a distinct meditative effect to the music, which almost visually swirls around as one listens. I recommend listening to it falling asleep or loud as hell on a long drive.
There are only three songs on the whole thing: “Black Hole” and “Cane Trader” (low lurching riff-fests) and the 22-minute “Please Maintain,” of which 13 minutes are, incredibly, acoustic. And totally work. It is the most crushing, in every sense of the word, vaguely jazz-influenced guitar work I’ve ever heard.
Sloath are on Riot Season records, whose owner Andy was nice enough to email me a couple of times regarding this being released on CD. When it was first released in May, this was only available in vinyl– maybe if enough of us clamor for it, they’ll put out a sweet CD package…?
Go listen. Seriously. Perfect.
*Lie: I’m totally judging you, perv.