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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Stoner-Sludge: Disastroid - "Missiles"

Soccer games, allergy meds, and ridiculous waves from non-friends tend to characterize my Autumns. One exhausting sneeze follows another as my fucking kids amp the tempo and I stab my fucking eye with a sharp stick. Can't we just head home, make dinner, and watch animated drivel until you lose steam and I can carry you to soft dreams, kid? Ha, whoa... "fuck you, Dad!" Sunday translates to salvation, and today's saviors may be the year's best.

California's Disastroid weave a tight sludge-noise tapestry of frayed nerves on Missiles, eight shifty tip-toed exercises of varying speeds and styles that blur lines between genres and likely inject more scope-stretching sounds than any release featured in the Sunday Sludge of 2014. Not exactly accessible, not exactly unsettling, not exactly less-than-awesome, Disastroid click through thirty-five minutes balancing grind and buzz, never quite abandoning a meter that makes you believe they're smarter than you. And they don't care.

Opening slow on Lost in Space may be the band's greatest ruse, hitting hard with abrupt collapse and snuffing comfort. The whisper-scream dynamic is never as pretentious as you'd expect, the un-hinged approach being less important to the trio than their dinner plans. Through shrill ice and the warp of convention, Disastroid immediately announce their bass-driven leveling of standards. But Bird Watcher is somehow more welcoming with its deceptively clean gait. Repetitive and numbing, the track contains elements of 90's buzz that balance the noisy and the focused, making them (somehow) more unsettling. Jagged, jarring rhythms begin characterizing the sound and wagging tongues.

Haunt and fog are never out of reach, though. Unsound Mind spaces through a bayou and grows more eerie with passing moments. Enver's vocals find their marquee here, establishing a cautious trust by calling out your flaws. Buoyant, heavily-caked rhythms harken Failure's best moments, grinding a bit before mudding and hazing. To bottom-line things, Disastroid won't let your bullshit go unnoticed.

The disc's back-end triptych may wind up being one of 2014's crowning achievements. Mighty Road sounds like sunny Sunday morning kitchen appliances when you're NOT hungover, punchy and patient until guitar noise grows atop a Helmet-ish stop/start tempo. The track shifts, dodges labels, and the scratchy unfurl is pretty awesome. When the cold-stone ending passage eases into Obeah, we're abruptly faced with the album's slickest smack. Loaded with angst and shaken-head judgments, vocal barbs peel off the wheels a la Whores. and the late Akimbo. The evolution is frightening and enthralling as listeners watch patterns and plans totally fucking dissolve.

And oh, that title track. Subtle entry, escalation, a slight hope for escape... What a cool fucking track, buzzing like your first car and fully-aware of its own strength, this juggernaut is a tense juxtaposition of piqued guitars and cool, steady rhythms. Sprinkling the landscape with hope is a cruel exercise when you consider the long, drawn-out saturation of reality on the horizon. Every element is showcased, and all corners of this band's directives are finally revealed. Maybe we weren't supposed to smile in the first place.

Spacey escalations and grounded assertions are just one of the myriad of Missiles's accomplished marriages. This stoner-sludge effort is so much more than hazy jams or drudging rhythms. Try as they might, Disastroid never let the noise detract from their proficiency. Is your stepdad gonna beat you awake or is he gonna wait for you to figure out things for yourself? It's hard to tell. Disastroid's soundtrack to your bruised walk to school won't boost your ego. It's just gonna take a nuanced approach toward your self-improvement. Self-improvement? Shit... by year's end, you'll be at your scabby best.

For fans of: Melvins, Whores., Failure
Pair with: Rosa Hibiscus Ale, Revolution Brewing

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