Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Oxford Coma: "Morphine ep"

In the beginning  was noise, samples and feedback. On the sixth day they got to the  meat of the matter. Angular and husky guitar playing uncoils the frayed edges of riffs. They stab out at your ears  like the Amp Rep bands from the late 90's. The grooves tightly wound around the over wrought vocals. Singer Billy Tegerhoff flirts with wild man howling though not really harshly growled. Hailing from Phoenix the band's density of the flailing chaos is well calculated.  From the taunt bass thump of "Tradition" that recreates more of a latter era Kyuss feel. Plenty of post-grunge angst coats the melodies. "Tradition" also holds a slight Clutch like bounce offsets the more sludgey leanings.

The Killing Joke like chant to the verses of "Grindstone" drift the song in a more post- rock direction. There are echoes of the Catherine Wheel, in drone of the riffs  stoney haze. It finds its self more unwittingly post-punk, really the vocals are what gives it a more accessible mid ground almost drawing it back with the more Mike Patton like moments to the border of falling into a Primus meets System of  A Down sort of thing. The roughened up production saves the day here to hone it's edge.

Slightly to the right of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum when it comes to the cerebral leanings of their proggy spasms. The singer's choices of melodies border something Filter might have done early on.
"Black Balloons" starts of with an almost ballad like quality. The sound effects zooming around faintly behind the mix, keeps you from pulling out your lighters like this was  Stone Temple Pilots song. It straddle the line between being grunge and something more Sunny Day Real Estate here.

Tegerhoff has said they are not really a metal band, but a throw back to Nirvana's Bleach Days and Eyehategod's  Dopesick album, along with Steve Albini and Neurosis. It's good to know I am not crazy for hearing some sort of grunge thing going on. Vocally  Black Balloons  carries a Cobain quality . Otherwise the sound of this album is centered on the live feel . It's the noisey gift wrap this thing is tied up in as musically, they share little common ground with Neurosis aside from being more about heavy sonics than heavy metal. Eyehategod , one can assume the same thing as the New Orleans band was more jarring and almost punk in it's explosive sound, the punk element to these guys is minimal at best, due to the fact they wind things up in more of a Jesus Lizard or Tool like manner.

Overall these guys have a pretty raging machine going. The rawness keeps it in check from becoming too Arena rock grunge ala' Filter and they stay the course. Hope to hear more from these guys in the future . If you miss the big throbbing over drive of underground 90's metal then you would be a fool not to check these guys out, you'll be surfing the crowd in your Doc Martens all over again.  

No comments:

Post a Comment