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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Sludge - Fistula

Corey Bing takes his band seriously. As the only remaining founding member of sludge-core peddlers Fistula, he's taken a hard-nosed approach to ensuring his bandmates are focused on delivering (literally) killer low-tuned metal that would make any sludge-o-phile puke in his steel-toed boot. Through various lineups and even more various inspirations, Fistula has managed to build a strong catalog of sludge stompers that would keep the neighborhood kids off your lawn and out of your garage.

Originally formed in Litchfield, Ohio, Fistula has maintained a commitment to continually expanding their sound and honoring influences, dark as they may be. It's Sunday, and you'll be guided through enough sludge to get you through church services with your new girlfriend's parents. But Fistula, if not given an honest listen, may fool you. You'll hear grind, you'll hear doom, you'll hear a little thrash. (You're even gonna hear a fucking hot, muddy Clapton cover). What you won't hear is rest. Yes, it's sludge. And it's relentlessly dark, brutal, and heavy.

Fistula flirt with drone to the point of the listener feeling challenged. It's gonna take a while, and these are harsh sounds; you're gonna need to shower twice once you're able to crawl to your tape deck and hit ■ (though you won't want to). Sometimes progressive but never narcoleptic, often troubling but never off-putting. This is a band you might've missed. This is a band you want to say you discovered. The slow dirge of songs like Dirt Bath and the incredibly beautiful and exhausting Dysfunction will put you on a train to your own version of hell.

Diving into the band's past would require a historian; diving into the band's present might require a lawyer (or a newscaster, at least). The band's produced four full-length albums, numerous EP's, and has appeared on countless splits and compilations next to bands like Sloth, Weedeater, and King Travolta. Their most recent release, GOAT, met criticism with its apparent predilection for death and serial murder, though Bing concisely explained the album's intent by pointing out the absurdity of Americans relying on television as a source of information. Check out the article from Cleveland. Here we go again, America. Maybe if we turned off our technology and engaged our children, we wouldn't have to worry about people like Anthony Sowell. I hear ya, Corey!

Fistula is set to release Loser this September, with the tracks streaming free at the link below. There's more gloom here, but there's also more monkey beat-off shred. Fistula always come back, though. No matter where these sludgers spill their sound, lay their pipe, or spread their seed... we're gonna welcome their murky, stomping grooves with open arms. What a great sound. What a great band. What a great example of vision, discipline, and dedication. I'll wait for these guys to conquer the world.

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