When everything is stripped away, all the shine, polish, layered falsities of the things that are shown to us, all that is left is raw, unadulterated aggression; art in its truest form. At first it can be something which is harsh to experience, a truth which we have been “protected” from without our knowledge, therefore it can be an alien sound when first heard, but it is something which is always lingering, there at the start as at the end. Such a sound of purism is a rare thing to find, but with sludge experimentalists Doormats, it’s essential nuts and bolts kind of stuff.
The three-piece from Bainbridge Island, Washington (US) carry a sound in its earliest stages of passion and originality. The raw unfiltered out-pouring of the vocals on their debut Mounds teeter on the verge of spoken word earthly sounds filled with gut wrenching passion, not too dissimilar from post-hardcore group The Saddest Landscape. It’s a construct of stripped down brutality that is echoed throughout the record hidden in the depths of the riffs, the heavy suffocating bass lines and the death-knocking-at-your-door drumming.
The title track for instance begins with nightmarish experimentalist vocals that clear the room before the sludge/doom covering of riffs cut you like a blunt spade, before ripping into stoner jams. It raises the hair on the back of your spine. Doormats is a band that keep you guessing at all times, never letting you settle into a sense of comfort with their songs, filling every void with a sense of meaning, pouring their sludge into every orifice.
Doormats could turn into influential players in the sludge field, but for now, they’re taking us all back to the prehistoric days of noise; time to drag your knuckles and grunt along with them.