Sunday, November 30, 2014
Sunday Split: Goya / Wounded Giant
Enough of the leftovers. I've gorged myself into a turkey-hash and cranberry coma over the course of three days, placing me in perfect position to try something new, fresh, and (as luck would have it) fucking sinister. I don't feature many splits on these Sundays, primarily because so many end up featuring (heads:) one band's best effort and (tails:) another's obligatory toss-off. But pair two left coast stoner-doom titans and you've piqued my interest.
"In ancient Rome, there was a poem... About a dog who had two bones. He picked at one, he licked the other... He went in circles 'til he dropped dead."
Come 2015, STB Records will release a split LP tandem featuring Phoenix's Goya and Seattle's Wounded Giant, certifiably cementing both acts as forces in a riffed landscape of dust and sand. After one spin, you'll struggle to decide which act deserves the first nod toward another listen. It really doesn't matter, so long as you make no haste. I do my best to be cerebral and offer poignant, insightful perspectives on the sounds sent my way. But these three tracks kicked in my teeth and made my hands shake, rendering me damn-near unable to even grip a knob to elevate the decibels.
First consider Goya's fourteen-tick No Place In The Sky, shelling their own weed-doom blitz while staying true to the form evident on last year's crushing 777. This opener immediately drips with hovering fuzz, masking a patient riff-mist and snagging reluctant drums for the ride-along. In hindsight, it's deceptive considering the full-brunt drop of doom ushered in by the succession of relentless blows. As riffs manipulate a canopy of smoke, Jeff Owens' vocal is haunted by its own shadow and stalked by his fractured fret licks. Beyond the midpoint, his guitar cracks what's disheartening and desolate by imposing blisters you'll never let heal. The rhythmic churn never loses steam behind Nick Lose and Chad Moline, slow-rolling toward an acceptance of fate. Short of a few brief, sporadic firings, the ungodly stagger leaves us peeling at our own hot skin, barely seeking sense in this teeming pool. Fourteen minutes? I'd let this one glaze me for fourteen days.
Flip the wax and you'll find Wounded Giant's one-two, led by The Room Of The Torch. Juxtaposing side one as more than a shade quicker, the track is no less imposing. Bathed in hot shit but looking toward a fading sun, these sludge rhythms give way to doom sensibilities. As a ritualistic gathering appears imminent, listeners are quickly pulled back into dragged-knuckle cruises and coated with skin-tingling sustain. Strap in and hold on as we quickly convert to unhinged stoner acceleration. Psychedelia saturates as we dig into a steamy swamp escape that's as deceptive as it is delicious.
Swaying and swinging with concrete fists is Dystheist, the split's epic closing coup. If this giant's wounded, he's hardly fucking bothered by it. Distant hover is merely a harbinger of the settling spook and ethereal pipes brought by Bobby James. Riff tarps wrap and suffocate atop a sticky, malevolent tempo led by Alex Bytnar's punchy charges. This track, boiled down to terms your haze can understand, is an embrace of the negative. Wounded Giant's unmistakable 70's salute remains in their back pocket, but the swirls toward an epic closing storm of exploding light marks a stomp apart from their brilliant Lightning Medicine.
You're wasting your time in search of another split this complete. Goya and Wounded Giant each bark their case as the marquee act. But clearly, both trios commit to embrace the other and peer downhill at the devastation they've collectively scattered behind them. Perhaps these three tracks can finally provide your mom with enough worry to simply leave you alone in the basement rather than investigate that skunky waft. If you've made it this far, she knows she's lost you. STB is only churning 430 of these on wax. I know you're weary, but try acting fast.
Released January 3rd, 2015
Limited vinyl pressing of 430
Die Hard Edition - 80 pieces
Band Only - 100 pieces
OBI Series - 100 pieces
Not-So Standard Edition - 150 pieces
Mastered specifically for vinyl
Exclusive artwork done by David Paul Seymour
And in the meantime...