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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Sludge: No Gods No Masters

I'm not sure what kind o' back alley I've stumbled into, but things got sketchy quick. There's no light, no sign of exit, and the smell of hot shit wrapped in burnt hair is overwhelming. I'm not even certain what I thought I'd find down here, but I'm confident I can expect to get tossed around and come up bloodied. This isn't an ache. This is straight-up Sunday Sludge pain.

The Netherlands must be a sticky matrix of grit and wet fur. There's no other explanation for this self-titled EP from No Gods No Masters, a stomping southern-sludge act donning a NOLA mask and spitting shrapnel. Four tracks cover nineteen minutes, which is just long enough for your breathing to dip and your heart to stop. A groove this violent is sure to crack your sternum and fuck up your night.

Opening with incredibly dense fuzz on the slow-rolling Ni Die Ni Maitre, the hardening glaze of the EP is immediately evident. The chop is loaded with scorching spite, a Dimebag nod via guitar pullback slipping through the chops. In true backwoods fashion, the mud-slung stomp n' smear is fist-cranked, churning sludge that we haven't enjoyed in some time. Grainy feedback channels a phone booth freak out on Lie to Me, buzzing and scraping atop repeated strikes against bone. The seemingly endless surge leads toward an escalation of mood, swirling into lost footing and tumbling downward in thorny patches. Get up.

Balance is demonstrated on Lost for Words. Parting the knotty cruisers, the track is slower and mistier; ominous tones and cautious tempos forecast clouds with an 80% chance of total collapse. The pace lifts in the vein of Acid Bath's Dope Fiend, never quite leaving the sludge and never quite overdosing on double kicks. The drumwork chugs through any obstruction on this dark track, but the closer (Retired) is a greater storm of swollen riffs. Southern aggression here slams into weathered walls with smash-and-grab abandon. Guitars step away and lead closing sirens, leaving you to pass out as ants fight on your blaring television.

A sock stuffed with a padlock just kissed your jaw, a violent groove soaked in mud and reeking of antipathy. No Gods No Masters deliver blow after blow, but this is the beating you sought. Adhering to a strict sludge recipe of simmering filth and down-tuned animosity, the band presents one hell of an introduction. You thought they'd shake your hand. Turns out they just wanted to bust your nose, douse you with petrol, and light a single match.

For fans of: Grizzly, Alabama Thunderpussy, Black Tusk
Pair With: Blatz stolen from your old man's garage.

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