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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Law of the Tongue



Sludge metal almost invariably comes from the low, trenched ventricles of thick-skinned misanthropes hellbent on spraying their misery on others.  So it's only appropriate that today's featured Sunday Sludge artist hits WAY below the earth's belt, all the way from Canberra, Australia.  Law of the Tongue are a stoner-sludge quartet that lead their lives fifteen hours ahead of mine, so I'd better get to the fucking point before Sunday Sludge ticks into Monday Mire.

The band released this self-titled EP last month, and the bouillabaisse of sludge/doom metal and stoner rock is a cool, crushing delight.  Whether LOTT are riding the back of a sticky-thumbed bass ribbon or grinding through drudging tempos spliced by intermittent riffs, you can rest easy knowing that every track brings the heavy.  Spend thirty-five minutes plunging down-under with these seven tracks and let the groove drag you where it will.  This will only hurt if you resist.

The low-rolling, steadfast flow of Children of Croke is riff-driven and buzzing with the ire of a locust swarm.  Bass and drum drive the track's measure, while Benji Bourne's vocal is as thick as the canvas spun by his mates, the perfect complement the thick black smoke of the doom-laden follow-up, Rebirth.  With a rhythm that grows slower and hazier beyond the initial staunch tempo, the track moves toward repeated jabs with sharp sticks.  You knew the cool wouldn't last, and now you're left wondering how to patch your blistered skin.

The EP's gullet makes no bones about embracing hazy fuzz, cruising slowly through an ashy, smoldering forest. LOTT here are reminiscent of Bongzilla, dealing crushing blows in sluggish succession.  Repetitive and patient, DD's basslines lead the breakdown before moving on to Decapod, a slow-motion dip off a jagged cliff.  Saturated with riffs, the track chugs through its own tempo and finds recurrent land-mine guitar licks, courtesy of Kim Kyung-Woo's virtuosity.  Go ahead and army-crawl to safety, dragging your broken legs.  You're miles from where anyone can hear you.

Stoner-sludge returns with bouncing cadence on Death Knight, up-tempo and fuzzed out.  Drone's Lament is baked slow, moving from drenched sludge to clips and pauses that are drier than a bucket o' sand.  Yanked like a string tied to a toddler's wrist, the track shifts to bluesy recline, ending with a balanced fadeout.  Finally, the immediate, punishing sludge of DEvolution amps the anger by staying low and dirty.  Sputtering and kicking to bring the EP to a close, this electric track leaves listeners shaken and coated with matted fur.

Law of the Tongue craft sludge of the grooviest variety, bending genres and mastering structures.  I won't say this stoner-sludge will make you dance, but it'll definitely snap necks and wag *ahem* tongues.  Beyond the smoke lies a muddy stomp through some pretty dense depths.  I can't imagine why they'd make this EP available as a FREE download, but listeners will be better off for it.  Do yourself a favor and pick it up now before they get wise and actually start charging what it's worth!



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