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April 17, 2014
ORYXDunes of droning hypnotic sludge from the deserts of Las Cruces, NM.
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April 14, 2014
MAMMOTH STORMPlodding, tar-lathered metal-fed groove doom from Sweden.
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April 8, 2014
LADY FLINT Explosive stoner blues rock duo from Marselle, France.
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April 7, 2014
KING DEAD Doomy psyche-tinged spaghetti western sludge from PA.
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April 2, 2014
GROGGYBlues-obsessed fuzzy garage rock duo from Omsk, Russia.
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March 31, 2014
THE SILENT LOWMelodic, hard-hitting, attitude-driven stoner rock from Denmark.
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March 25, 2014
GRAILPsychedelic punk with a southern demonic desert groove out of Texas.
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March 24, 2014
LORD OF GIANTSincere, lumbering, 70's influenced heavy rock from Germany.
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March 19, 2014
WOVOKA Intense yet melodic, brutal gut-twisting post-metal sludge from LA.
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March 16, 2014
Torpedo riffs, hazy grooves and cosmic stoner sleaze from Portland.
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March 13, 2014
Toxic, heavy southern groove metal attitude from Brazil.
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March 11, 2014
Somber, shoegazing post-metal sludge from Columbus, Ohio.
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March 10, 2014
Cosmic, gravity-defying stoner fuzziness from Sydney, Australia
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March 6, 2014
Fuzz-filled, snail-paced riff-praising doom from Denver, CO.
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March 5, 2014
Polish doom band with female vocals is a fuzz worshippers dream
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March 4, 2014
Sleazy, fat and dirty stoner metal riffs from down under.
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March 2, 2014
Newly formed 70's inspired stoner doom band from Brazil.
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Feb. 27, 2014
Expansive psychedelics and dusty grooves from Austria.
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Feb. 25, 2014
Fuzzed-out heavy desert grooves from Catania, Italy.
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Feb. 24, 2014
Get stuck in some sludgey stoner groove from South Carolina. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 20, 2014
Heavy lightning in a bottle stoner boogie groove from Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 19, 2014
Stirring progressive ambient doom from Bath, UK
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Feb. 17, 2014
Intense instrumental sludgefuzz from these Guernsey blokes. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 15, 2014
Swirling hypnotic heavy psychedelic rock from St. Petersburg, Russia. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 10, 2014
Sultry and somber jazz-laden ambient doom from Genoa, Italy.
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Feb. 8, 2014
Late 60's early 70's influenced heavy psychedelic rock from London.
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Feb. 5, 2014
Death/Doom/Thrash from the mean streets of Adelaide, Australia.
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Feb. 4, 2014
Doomy apocalyptic instrumental Sludge from Istanbul, Turkey.
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Feb. 2, 2014
Spell-binding all-female occult doom from Ljubljana,Slovenia.
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Feb. 1, 2014
Heavy heartfelt psychedelic jams from Heidelberg, Germany.
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Jan. 30, 2014
Riff Heavy Stoner Doom with Southern grit from Athens, Greece
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Jan. 27, 2014
Chest collapsing progressive heaviness from Ventura, CA
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Jan. 25, 2014
Genre-defying atmospheric mood music from Tampere, Finland. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 23, 2014
Freaked-out psychedelic space rock from Gothenburg, Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 22, 2014
Swamp-infested grooves and fuzzy desert riffs from Portland,Oregon.
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Jan. 21, 2014
BORDEL INFERNO Gritty heavy rock, solid riffs from Rio de Janiero.
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Jan. 20, 2014
OVERLORD Melodic groove-oriented Heavy Rock from Oxford.
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Jan. 19, 2014
A DAY AS WOLVES Garage-rock inspired bluesy fuzz and roll from Alberta, Canada. Eh! facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 18,2014
NAKED BROWN Hard-hitting Polish heavy rock in the vein of Clutch and Motorhead.
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Jan. 17, 2014
Smoke obsessed Stoner Doom from Slovenia. Free demo.
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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Spider Kitten - "Cougar Club"

Here again, I'm left with my jaw open and my dick in my hand. As the year winds down, we tend to pack and seal our definitive declarations a little too early, eager to tuck in every corner and finally call a spade a spade. What's good is good, what's not is forgotten, and what's ahead is given the nod over what's happening right in front of us. So when I've gotta slam the brakes and question why greatness went unnoticed, it throws everything else into question along with it.

Let's be fair; Spider Kitten's Cougar Club isn't being officially released until January, so I'm not talking about missing this album. Nuclear Dog got to me in time, smacking my face with a cold hand and doing little more than tucking the tape into my denim jacket. But take a look back at Spider Kitten's prolific, tireless catalog and you'll see what I'm getting at. These burners have spun, by my count, more than twenty releases over the course of the last decade. WHAT?! So I'll backtrack a tad, but this current release is gonna be hard to turn off.

The hot, eerie corridor-drone that opens Twin Obscenities hardly spoils what lays ahead on Cougar Club. Between the buzzes and crushes, the ridiculously heavy drops lumber and stagger alongside an unparalleled two-ply vocal haunt. Slow, thick, and surprisingly melodic, the dark doom crust begins to set and the balance of trudge and cool-panned guitar snags your ponytail and never loosens the grip on your senses. Atmospheres aren't firmly cemented, though. These guys have more than a few arrows in their quiver. 

Sci-Fi guitar repetitions summon 2001: A Space Odyssey's Hal on Burdened, later utilizing a stoner-sludge buzz to lull and coax us. Remaining fuzzier than your mom's top lip, this cruiser shifts moods and enters a spacey jam. Guitar shavings splinter, Chris weaves a web of beats, and we're privy to a smoke-soaked extended lunch in a high school parking lot. What follows is a slow unroll of the doom carpet on a cover of Dark World by Saint Vitus. Sludge plods and pauses, vocals echo, and guitar honors with sacrilege in a burned night sky. Throwback, vintage, whatever. It's also well-realized and stamped with Spider Kitten's brand (and likely Wino's seal of approval).

Well, we find reprieve on Time Takes Its Toll, less an intermission and more a breath of clean, countryside air. Where the bulk of Cougar Club teems and sticks, this acoustic strum is stripped down and cheekily hopeful. I couldn't help but adopt an Orange Goblin-hires-Thom Yorke perspective; no pretense, increasingly unsettling with subsequent listens, and undeniably relaxing. If Chi's sitting under a tree and strumming a cracked wooden box called a guitar, I doubt he hasn't noticed the hillside peppered with rattles and cackles. I said "Goddamn!"

If you're still standing, Cougar Club's title-track closer is packed with head-nodding fuzz, picking up progressive steam with buoyance and catharsis. The vocals here are less presented and more extracted, an almost mid-life Isis (oh, you like that?) in a hazy, uncertain drift. Licks turn skyward, drums fall in line, but Al's bass remains dangerously low. A synth organ suspension screams Pink Floyd's Welcome to The Machine, fronting a hovering tapestry of sonic progressions. Crushing and crunching toward disc's end, the funeral sludge/doom underlayment blankets a chaotic cougar hunt. And the album's final moment is an exercise of staggering sustain.

I know there's another month to go before we close the books on 2012. Oh, and that Mayan calendar bullshit is right around the corner, so maybe we won't even get to usher in a sea of doomed resolutions. But after eleven months of sifting through some pretty incredible offerings from some pretty accomplished acts, it's difficult to find many that are this complete and this proficient. Cougar Club is thick with mood, heavy on variation, and thoroughly stung with riffs and rhythms that'll knock you flat. Moving forward, waving back, and setting the knob to "simmer" is just the beginning for Spider Kitten. And it's embarrassing to admit I'm starting at the end.

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