Sunday mornings demand we not overthink things. I've still got last night's regrets dripping from the corner of my mouth, so I can't handle squeaky clean production and cock-metal flare. My skin is raw and my skull is buzzing, so let's find something to delay the ennui of lawn duties. This is why I applaud bands like Saskatoon's Lavagoat. They don't fuck around with knobs and buttons to cheapen things through edits and filters; their sound is scraped from a damp, sooty concrete floor and directly bottled for consumption.
The band's latest EP, Weird Menace, offers one track of six movements, a stream-of-consciousness barrage of various captive-bolt stunners spanning damn-near the entire continuum of heaviness. The campy horror themes are hardly cartoonish, while the range demonstrated in these eighteen minutes (all one fucking take, you should note) will make your teeth hurt. Beams of sludge and doom outline a course, but stoner repetition and thrashy fret molestations coagulate in an absurdly complete metal experience.
Opening on the punchy nostalgia of Possess the Exorcist, you'd think this is a quick grindhouse tour of classic thrash, forgetting to breathe as blisters form. But the Goddamn electric lumber of Doomfinger is pure blunt-force doom brutality, crashing and shattering as giants bark beyond their chains. The one-two sets the tone, advising listeners to expect nothing and blink as little as necessary.
But the bulk of what this album achieves begins with the spacey break toward Ectoplasm. Cool hovers and a cosmic tapestry of buzz is littered with panned plucks, making one nearly use a descriptor that's everwhere lately: organic. Things appear smooth, but they're just itchin' to get ugly. We're split dead-open with an escalated, abrupt, scream-coated blast of guitars and cymbals that signal this reprieve is fucking over, dude. The true sludge roots of Creature From The Black Lagoon are a near-nod to swampy 8mm films from your attic. Scorching, screeching licks pepper the terrapin pace before the consuming swirl of Vampyromorphida glazes everything with static. Meters chug, we ascend, we collapse... And as the pace lifts, guitars have already swollen beyond the point of shedding their skins.
Completing the full spectrum is the torrid thrash of Headless Priest, a quick-paced closing argument that Lavagoat's evolution is ongoing and ceaseless. From frantic to stoner-steady to slow-simmering, this final passage offers the most complete pitch for the band's marriage of proficiency and focus. The storm of elements burns brightest here, hoser. To compactly administer this much mayhem so deftly in such little time is the truly staggering triumph. Whatever your poison, look no further.
Use only as directed.
For fans of: Cathedral, Vulgaari, Venom