With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

‘DRUGS’ EP – Sugar Horse May 22, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:29 pm
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Brutal Bristol Doomgazers, Sugar Horse’s new EP, DRUGS, is a punishing aural assault but it also features ephemeral moments of beauty. Doomy opening track, “Drugs”, utilizes neo-Sabbath riffs over apocalyptic, downtempo drumming, and (what feel like) random pauses filled with studio chatter. Vocalist, Ashley Tubb’s voice takes on similar qualities to Deftones’ Chino Morino when it soars into higher registers in the choruses. This chimes in well with DRUGS’ press material’s, which likens Sugar Horse to a Doomy Pink Floyd. It wasn’t unusual to read Deftones being described as the Nu-Metal Pink Floyd. Around the four-minute mark, some chanting, almost gospel-like, vocals come in over some chugging guitars before the track drops back down into the heaviest, most punishing, section yet.

“Pity Party” definitely earns the Doomgaze title, with its more melodic vocals & walls of reverbed fuzzy guitar noise and swirls of feedback replacing the hammering riffs of the previous track. The rhythm section maintains the punishing, metallic abrasiveness. There is an almost heroic, lighters-in-the-air atmosphere. Single, “Richard Branson In The Sky With Diamonds”, begins with fuzzier, shoegazey riffing, reminiscent of Pink-era Boris or some of the more melodic Sunn O))) tunes. The vocals are trademarked metal screams when they drop in and they fit in between the stop-start rhythms. There are twists and turns aplenty and the perceived loudness and heaviness dips and dives constantly. Vocalist Ashley Tubb says it’s “a centrepiece for the record. A mangling of every direction we go in, distilled down and blasted out at both destructive and fragile volume”.

“When September Rain” is a sparse, haunting ballad (as strange as that sounds), built around vicious snare drum crack and gentle synth melodies. It’s definitely an outlier here. The heavy reverbs on the vocals and the blending of the choral backing vocals with the main seems to lend it a quasi-religious feel. Towards the end, it builds up into a wall of pure noise that would make Brian Eno or Kevin Shields jealous. “Dogegg” is a slow, sludgy slice of abrasive Doom. Perfectly pitched to end this EP. It’s heavy riffing also gives strong Boris vibes. Perhaps more Amplifier Worship than Pink though. Despite its bludgeoning feel, there are moments of tranquillity where all you hear are gentle drum patterns, subby bass, and clean guitar chords. These atmospheric segments mainly serve to heighten the impact of the next loud section though, and they fulfil this role magnificently.

DRUGS is an unusual EP and there is almost guaranteed to be something, whether song or moment, which pleases everyone. It may, however, struggle to please some due to its variety. I cannot imagine purist Doomers enjoying “When September Rain”, for example. Personally, I find this level of variety and experimentalism extremely inviting. It is definitely impressive to find such variety on a five-track EP with a runtime below 30 minutes.

Written by Tom Ray.

DRUGS EP is available now on all good digital music platforms.

The pictures were found via Google and the videos were found on YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would either like a credit or for them to be removed please let me know.

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Slowmother – a classy rock band from Milan November 8, 2016


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One of my great friends shared a band with me on Facebook. The friend is Mr Nick Horslen and the band who are very new to me are Slowmother. Their sound has elements of classic rock, prog and a degree of dark menace, which is something that I personally love in a band. They describe their music as Chemical Blues which also works for me. Your experience of listening to them may lead you to describe them very differently from the way I have. But I will be surprised and disappointed in you if you don’t conclude that they are a bloody good band indeed!

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Slowmother are based in Milan and are made up of Alessio Slowmother on vox and guitars, Grazi Mele on drums and backing vocals and Pietro The Butcher on bass and backing vocals. Obviously all their names are the names that they were born with……. right? They sound like a very tight band with some great songs, especially the phenomenal “Drugs” and “Liar”. Vocally I find them reminiscent of Stiltskin whose singer Ray Wilson also went on to front Genesis briefly in the late 90s. I would definitely pay to see this band, so let’s hope that they come to play in the UK soon. Let me know what you think of them. Check them out on Facebook, Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

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