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- Rock Bottom by Robedoor
9/10 Mike Staff review, 12 September 2012
We’ve got some new stuff in from the good people at Holidays Records, and the most exciting (for me at least) this week is this LP from Robedoor (featuring a certain MG Gengras of Sun Araw/Congos infamy), which has just over half an hour of jams from ‘08 to ‘10, before . On the first side we’ve got three short pieces, which pair smooth synth drones, churning, rumbling, fucked up doom-guitar scuzz and babbling, buried vocals that remind me of a demonic take on Wet Hair’s freak-psych stylings. The melodies are slow and cyclic, the tones dirty and incoherent, with the overall effect both oppressive and relaxing at the same time.
What I like about this band is how they sit right on the cusp of dark ambient but they’re still essentially a rock band, with chord sequences and structures, albeit minimal ones. It’s like they’ve written songs which they only barely have the will to even play, so they’re doing them self-sabotagingly, begrudgingly slowly, with nonchalant disregard for the listener, until they turn into a creaky, garbled slow-groovers which seem to have room for entire ecosystems between the notes. Of the three shorter tracks on this side, the detached, mystical almost Earth-esque ‘Deep Deep In Mexico’ is pushing my buttons the most so far.
Flip it and things get slower still with the 15-plus-minute ‘Wake of the Mythmaker’, which opens with ominous rumbles before it settles into a slow melodic ambient piece which isn’t as foreboding as I’ve come to expect from these guys, instead sounding like the smooth, gliding darkness of Deathprod with a three-chord cycle of bassy dread-drone accompanied by shimmering, optimistic trebly overtones and some more garbled Shawn Reed-esque vocalisms over the top. It’s totally hypnotic and it’s sending me into a bit of a trance which makes it seem much shorter than it actually is. There’s a tribalistic two-chord guitar crunch towards the end and some really minimal percussion leading us into a primitive chug’n’choogle stoner finish as they unexpectedly build up grainy rock tones towards the end. About as close as they come to “feel-good”, I think, but you can’t really go wrong with these lads.
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