This is a year late review: as you all know we like it slow at TSS. Slomatics are a canny trio of Belfast based Melvinites: David (guitar), Chris (guitar) and Joe (drums and vocals) who, according to the sleeve, are “middle-aged professionals by day, agro-sludge losers by night”. They could well be the greatest sludge metal band in Ireland. Slomatics achieve mammoth heaviness without a bass – I didn’t even realise they were sans bass player until I looked at the sleeve notes. They’ve been around for a couple of years or more and are prolific performers on the fertile Irish underground scene. ‘Kalceanna’ is an eminently listenable forty minute album that provides six tracks of huge fat brontosaurus sound.
‘Griefhound’ farts in with a big arsed crushing buzz riff, drumming singer Joe shouting out in the distance like he’s in some New York post-hardcore outfit from the nineties. Everything sounds sharp and loud – this is a good solid production that sounds bloody knockout on my big powerful matt black music centre. ‘By Thor’ is an instrumental that starts with little quiet pluckings of the strings and then booms out a wide slice of dirty low end sludge-osity.
‘Mans Hands’ is an obese sloth and continues the majestic Stonehenge sized riffing. Joe has an echo on his shouting voice, which has the nice effect of seemingly slowing down and disorientating the sound. The track slumps to a close after eight minutes of crunch and shout. ‘Dirt By The Stooges’ (clever title) yawns out of my speakers like a heavy metal chasm. All the usual adjectives apply – monolithic, immense, gargantuan, etc.
‘Meanwhile’ is part post rock noodling and part giant Slomatics riffing. Last track, ‘Viking Sea’ is another super sized super slow fuzz riff. Joe’s echoing disembodied voice reaches out again over the sonic waves. A melancholic and artfully simplistic instrumental break plunges the song forward until entropy kicks in and it all grinds to a halt. There’s not particularly any great variety amongst these six tracks, they all follow the style of Slomatics, but who needs variety when you’ve got a style. Variety is the enemy of monotony, and monotony is the root of inner contentment. Admittedly their style is grown in a petri-dish from a toe nail clipping from the Melvins, but so what chimp-face? Some bands are immortal, they will sire many children, who will grow to be great too.
Three genius reasons to dig Slomatics: they are a power trio, they belch out enormous stinking nuclear sludge riffs, and they have a drummer that sings. Beside a dirty girlfriend with full lips and dark eyes and a shiny black BMX, what more could a young lad ask for?
Label: Spirit Of Division
Scribed by: Adam Stone