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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Sludge: Acid Goat

Imagine a world where Black Sabbath never existed. Iommi never riffed, Ward never jazzed, and Ozzy & Geezer never tripped and wrote shit like Fairies Wear Boots. You'd wonder where that would leave the heaviest bands of the last four decades. Would Birmingham still be credited as birthing heavy metal? Would we have fans demanding to knight Rob Halford instead of John Michael Osbourne?

While Birmingham's produced unlistenable pop acts like Dexys Midnight Runners and Fine Young Cannibals, thank Christ they've given us Napalm Death and Godflesh. Adding to the city's litany of great heavy acts is sludge-doom trio Acid Goat. Providing a nod to 1970 and stomping a bootprint into tomorrow's breakfast, these stone tossers drop four slabs of riffage that'll have you suffering from gravity's cruel joke. This self-titled EP is so swollen with thickness that you may be walking with a cane from now on.

Demonstash opens with echoes of the first and finest moments of Black Sabbath on Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath. The descending doom lumbers and looms with massive, entrancing reverberations. Long, deceptive pauses provide minimal relief, giving way to lingering guitar screeches as drums usher doom's second wave. This instrumental clinic is wholly devoted to the riff. Nosferatu's low, malevolent bass plucks offer an even thicker, filthier breed of sludge. Vocals emerge, spitting and echoing to add a subhuman element to the murky nightmare. Things get weird, though, as wormy guitar licks bob and weave for a whisper of thrown-back psychedelia. Ever-expanding, there's seemingly no end to the destruction.

Acid Goat have their somber moments, however. Green Queen is rife with hollow isolation before we're greeted with a pendulumic sway of high-density doom. Guitars buzz from a distant electric woodshed as repeated rhythmic crashes dent the back of your skull. And that vocal is back, this time weaving rusty barbed wire through your limbs. This track succeeds in swinging a knobby club and flattening anything it crosses. And when Acid Goat take on Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2), they've unearthed trippy licks and a vile vocal that'll have your father scratching his head. This heaviness is Goddamn ridiculous.

It appears these four songs are just the beginning. Stoning and dooming in equal measure, these highs are low and these lows are real... fucking... low. Set aside a few bucks for some new speakers before you spin this shit. Layers reveal themselves beneath each unrolled note, offering an all-too-brief glimpse into a band that just may keep these flames burning hot. Have a seat, please.

For fans of: Sabbath,Conan, Electric Wizard 

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