More Somerset Stoner Sludge from Henry Blacker, the regional offshoot of Hey Colossus. The Making Of Junior Bonner is their third full album to date, and it positively seethes with noisy distortion and ear-bludgeoning riffs. Nine fairly punchy tracks in forty minutes, making for a good-sized portion of guitar weight. Vinyl release from Riot Season.
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Sludge is sometimes dressed up hard rock. This is one of those times but in a good way; Henry Blacker, a regional offshoot of Hey Colossus, initially started as a way of exorcising some of their doom demons away from home (stuck in Somerset, not London -- you know the drill), and now have their third record of fairly palatable noising. ‘The Making of Junior Bonner’ is not hard on the ear, nor is it massively pulverising: it’s a sleuthing, heavily distorted take on its genre with super-clear vocals that remind me of Kyuss and their ilk.
And it’s catchy! Riffs and vocal melodies alike, this band create sludge you can get dunked in, a slime that can be traced. “Two Shapes” flows from the record’s opener seamlessly, offering a near-chaotic bliss out of throbbing riffs and enviable drum thrashings. “A Dredger Thirst” distorts its opening riff to overtly crunchy levels but remains emotive and nearly pretty throughout, even if the vocal content is something like Trent Reznor sorta beginning to scream.
I kinda like the hints of a harsher band, as with the opening second of skramz on “The New Evil”, but on a record like this, it’s mostly about how good the guitars sound and how creatively they sync and dodge the rhythm section around them. At times this one flows with hypnotic repetitions that keep me swirling around amidst all the Loud; at other times it sounds almost techy, ever-so-slightly tricking its way out of its stern disciplines. Extremely good, all in all, and a recommended entry point for noisy sludge before you get into the darker stuff.
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- The Making Of Junior Bonner by Henry Blacker
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