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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Sludge: -(16)-

Depending on where you live, local bands playing local venues can either capture an honest energy and develop a rabid fan base, or they can make you wish you lived somewhere else. I visited a local establishment last night and was treated to Bon Jovi covers and foul-mouthed cougar townies. The entire time, all I could think about was how much I wanted to get home and listen to -(16)-. Today's Sunday Sludge provides just a glimpse of a band that clearly needs to spend some time in a doctor's office.

Formed in Los Angeles in 1992, -(16)- has spent the last two decades embracing madness and walking a fine line between misanthropy and mutually-assured complacency. From 1992's Doorprize EP to 2010's The First Trimester compilation, 16's sound remains a low, fuzzy, grinding substitute for your prescription anti-depressants.

-(16)- have had their share of hard times, so perhaps that adds an element of authenticity to their nihilistic, clouded accent. Before their split in 2004, the band saw substance abuse, pink slips, and abrupt exits perpetuate a revolving door of enrollment. What's been consistent, luckily, is the contribution of seminal sludge that is unparalleled in terms of sociopathic angst and existential turmoil. Every incarnation of the band has focused on bulldozed rhythms, penetrating guitar chops, and lyrics soaked in self-loathing.

Reformed in 2007, the lineup consisted of vocalist Cris Jerue, guitarist Bob Ferry, bassist Tony Baumeister, and drummer Jason Corley. The band released Bridges to Burn in 2009, satiating many eager fans. As of last month, -(16)- has reportedly entered Double Time Studios in San Diego to record their follow up to Bridges, with ex-Buzzov*en drummer Mateo Parker taking over on skins for Corley. Keeping in step with the dream-abandonment of previous albums, working song titles for the record include Parasite Twin and Big-Hearted Pill Popper.

Careful where you let these guys take you. In time, you may develop an incurable psychosis and a disregard for all things constructive. What's certain, however, is that you'll be unable to keep still. These sludge grooves will bend you at the neck and curl you at the lip. Keep a tight grip on your stepmom's Lexapro, Abilify, and Wellbutrin. You just never know.

Warning: Insomnia, weightlessness, and loss of jobs are among the most common side effects reported with -(16)-. Some side effects that are rare (seen in less than 1 percent of listeners) include rug burns, increased heart rate, and acne. In most cases, side effects of -(16)- are major but either do not require medical attention or can be treated with alcohol . However, if you develop any serious problems, such as suicidal thoughts or behavior, hallucinations, or panic attacks, notify Heavy Planet immediately.

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