Monday, 9 May 2016

SMOLDER & BURN ~ DEBUT EP .....review.


Hailing from Denver, Colorado you would expect the sound Smolder & Burn to create would, like the state they come from,.be mountainous! Fortunately this IS the case and the five piece band, made up of members of Low... Gravity, Luna Sol, Chingaso, and Insomniaxe, have released a self-titled EP to prove that fact.





"Motorheadache" kicks the EP off in a whirlwind of warmly fuzzed thick riffage married to powerful, explosive rhythms. The fuzz drenched, downtuned guitars of Pat Devlin and Jess Ellis chop out chunky slabs of chordal mayhem pushed further into the red by Chad Roth's gnarly throbbing bass and Marc Brooks powerhouse drumming. Over this wall of distortion Chris Chango delivers a vocal that is both powerful and, given the music's sludge/stoner root, surprisingly clean. The song swings between an almost thrash like tempo on the verses and a slower doom/sludge groove on the chorus, switching between the two dynamics with seamless ease. The song is a superb introduction into what Smolder & Burn's groove is all about.
"Master of None" begins with a lone guitar jamming a chugging infectious riff that is then joined by intricate percussion and bass, a second effect soaked guitar then joins the fray before the hammer goes down and the amps go into overdrive. Chango's vocal soars and swoops over this wall of fuzz and fury his tone a mixture of classic metal power and stoner rock grittiness. Catchy as a cold and loaded with enough hooks to fill a cloakroom this will please both the fuzz loving stoners and the downtuned worshiping doomers out there.
"Mastodonnyosmond" injects a little psych colouring into proceedings amidst a sea of fuzz pedal drenched power chords. I have no idea what the songs title has to do with the actual lyrics but they are nevertheless delivered with conviction and passion against a backdrop of huge guitar riffage and bigger rhythms. The songs vocal refrain of "Wanting, waiting, dying, bleeding" will be going around in the listeners head long after the song fades although I can't confirm that this will be the case if that listeners name is Donny and he has a clutch of musical brothers and strangely attractive sister, but then again you never know!
"Tides of War" closes the Ep with ten minutes plus of epic stoner doom. Devlin and Ellis serve up a smorgasbord of heavy riffage, dark licks, psychedelic motifs and solo's around which Roth's bass weaves dark boneshaking bass lines and Brooks drums drive solid tight rhythmic pulses. Chango's vocals take on a grittier, throatier tone that fit to the songs shifting dynamics like a hand in a velvet glove and add a doomy gravitas to the songs already dark brooding atmospherics. Huge, epic and magnificent it serves as a fitting finale to a very impressive debut from a very talented band.

7 comments:

  1. That sounded like Brian Hagman's diarrhea fronting Black Lamb's diarrhea. It's a lot like Black Lamb but wayyy shittier. Pretty common place and played out, if you ask me. No offense.

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    1. Oh man, that's brutal! It did give me a good laugh though, so that's a win! I normally have to pay for good comedy, so thanks for that. I'll buy you a beer when I see you at the next show.

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  2. Wow the guy above is probably in a band no one likes. Anyway, I checked em out and got to listen through a friend and I can say this EP is fantastic. It's not full of pretentious dribble like a lot of the heavy shit that's come out as of late. It is mostly mid tempo and very heavy. If you like tasty riffs and some chill heavy mood music you will likely dig it.

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  3. I agree with the first guy. These guys aren't bad by any means but they're seriously behind the times. I guess they're having fun but art it ain't. Black Lamb was around 15 years ago and is the only band that should play that style. Denver has a lot of 3rd rate bands, these guys fit right in. Wovenhand, Slim Cessna, and Lyin' Bitch should be ripped off more, they are or were more along the lines of first rate. I hope the constipated stoner rock scene in Denver and everywhere else dribbles out of the ass that has been it's load host for years and dries up accordingly. I'll take that beer, I'll be the dude with the handlebar mustache and ironic food themed tattoos drinking that Trve sour.

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  4. Pretty good if you're 15 or 16 and just learned to play, I guess.

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  5. i hear a lot of old school "roots" to what kicked off this genera of music. I find that appealing in this day of "run of the mill" meat market of bands that flood many of the big cities. I don't consider them to be a "high voltage" band but have an amazing flow and groove to their style they have presented. With only a handful of bands that still stay true to the stoner grunge acid rock genera. I feel that it is very refreshing to have this style of music arrive again! Music is an expression an art an outlet many use to convey to the masses. We don't have to like it or enjoy it, but still appreciate and understand this music wasn't created for you only. Your criticism is shallow and pretty good for around a 15/16 year old too. Which makes these comments even more valuable to the world! NOT!!
    The misconception you have on what you think Denvers music scene is, is way off base!
    If this what you've seen or were around then you have been led astray in the Denver music scene. Maybe one day I can hire your bands to play in Denver? I'm assuming you have one with the amazing feedback and the misconstrued ideas of the Denver music metal scene. Next time be more constructive with your criticism. Like I said you don't have to like it, but the level of maturity is just showcasing through the comments.
    Signed, "not anonymous"


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  6. "only a handful of bands",funny! I'm not the person above but "stoner grunge acid rock" is the most played out, cliche' shit on the planet at the moment. Where have you been hiding? As far as this band is concerned, not bad, not great, on to the next.

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