Jan 31, 2018

This San Francisco-based group combines the sound of ‘90s grunge with sludge metal and stoner rock in an eclectic mix that may remind listeners of Melvins. The first song on the album begins by drawing the sort of frenetic quietness of grunge bands before the fuzz pedals really start roaring and the song gets heavier. This first track, “Screen,” actually exemplifies everything I dislike about some of the vocals on the record. They’re belted in a way that sounds unpleasant when accompanied by the dejected guitars, like a metal vocalist auditioning for an alternative rock band. The vocals are occasionally a bit more appropriate. “Dinosaur,” for example, sounds far better, both individually and harmonized. But generally, the belting vocals unpleasantly contrast with the mood of the rest of the songs on this album. Instrumentation on all these tracks ranges from sorrowful to jammable and intense, where intricate and crashing drums complement slow and rugged riffing on the guitar. “Choke the Falcon” shines as an example of the pounding drums and exciting guitar work on this record. Listening to this album will take the listener back to the ‘90s world of flannel, sludge metal, and grunge. It’s not an awful record, but I can’t help but feel that with a change of vocals, this group could be doing a lot better. –Anna Farr (Self-released)