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.