They Say :- The foundation of this rotten sludge, is the riff worship of bands like Black Sabbath, Sleep and St Vitus, with the influence of Black Flag sitting underneath, to give that nihilistic air, and fog of feedback, that permeates most of Eyehategod’s output. This is the soundtrack to alligator wrestling in a Louisiana swamp, cheered on by a mob of whisky-fuelled reprobates
We Say :- Ahh, we like Witch Hunter Records, purveyors of some of the finest sludgey, crusty, downtuned doom riffs known to man. The latest release to seep it’s way out of their swamp of sludge is the 5-track “Single Malt” EP from Liverpool’s own low fidelity noise merchants Iron Witch.
Things kick off in a suitably low gear with the imaginatively titled A .45 To Pay The Rent. Like some sort of bastard blend of Eyehategod and Bumsnogger, Iron Witch deliver music to get pissed, alone, in a darkened room to par-fucking-excellence.
A wail of distorted feedback leads you into a darker place for the title track, which has a deceptively catchy riff where the band step the tempo up a notch, not too much mind. I love the little (more) clean bit in the middle though, takes me by surprise every time I listen but don’t worry you sludge purists, it doesn’t last for long 😉
After the relatively bouncy (by sludge standards) Single Malt, Booze Blues drags you back down into the mire with yet more brain-squelching feedback. If a hangover made a noise, this is what it would sound like. For the purposes of this tenuous analogy the blood thumping thickly in your head is played by some super-heavy, ponderous bass, closely followed by a simple repeated (but bloody effective) riff.
Jailbreak (no, surprisingly not a cover version) continues in a similar vein, but would you really expect anything else ? before the epic (well, 7 minute long) The Cruelty Of Mankind draws events to a close. Here we start off slow and heavy before the the band speed things up half way through, injecting a slightly venomous metal/punk feel, sort of Black Sabbath meets Black Flag down a darkened alley, in a graveyard, at midnight, pissed.
Enough of that….
Anyway, you get the idea. Easy listening this isn’t, but it’s more listenable than many of the other extreme-low-frequency noise merchants out there who only operate in one dimension. Iron Witch can do the slow, dirty heavy stuff as well as just about anyone, but they’re also not afraid to break into something approaching a tune from time to time.
But don’t tell them I said that 😉
the EP is available in a limited edition of 150 copies in a fancy gatefold sleeve. It will also be available as a pay-what-you-want (I.E. Free) download.