Wednesday, October 26, 2011

new album from NEGATIVE REACTION : "frequencies from Montauk"

A new album by NEGATIVE REACTION is honestly something not to miss for several reasons : first, these guys are among the pioneers of SLUDGE, existing for 20 years without any compromise, second, this is a band that (at least to my knowledge) has never disappointed its fans and finally the last album "tales from the insomniac" came out a bit more than three years ago which is pretty long and another largely sufficient reason to welcome this new effort warmly.
What are basically the origins of SLUDGE ? A cross between HC and DOOM if I'm not wrong !? Some people might think that there's hardly anything in common between HC and DOOM, that's a wrong idea at least concerning power, heaviness, misery and the repetition of suffocating heady riffing. But of course we are not speaking here about modern HC, no it's all about HC/punk from the early days, think especially about BLACK FLAG !
There's not so many bands whose style really fits to this definition, but N.R. does it pretty well and more than ever with this "frequencies from Montauk", while both previous albums were doomier and kind of more psychedelic in the structures and mood.
What we got here is definitely old-school sludge, closer to Crowbar and Grief than Weedeater if you prefer ! While remaining extremely heavy and crushing, I think the overall atmosphere is more massive and intense  on this new album.
All 11 songs are rather short, averagely between 3 and 4 minutes. Most  tempos are insanely downtuned, save just a few faster ("docking bay 94"); Ken Bones vocals are always raw with that old HC  type - screamed  special touch, sometimes nicely angered and painful, it's certainly not the kind of love it or hate it vocals but this strong caracter of their identity can maybe put off some people, which is a shame ... For our greatest pleasure, the sabbathian type of riffing is still omnipresent and gives a great solid groovy edge, a kind of mix of old C.O.C. eying on the Maryland sound, especially with some amazing solos directly coming from the old ST VITUS era ("shattered reflection") and also some catchy riffs à la THE OBSESSED, you know that direct but simple rockin' doom approach with a vintage bluesy southern touch ("planet saggar and the trobbits", "space capsule 1"), in some points they can remind their label mates LEATHER NUN AMERICA (the bikers edge replaced by the HC touch !).
Whichever mood their songs tend to,  this is always full of feeling, authenticity and heart with amazing heaviness. I  haven't heard all the bunch of split  stuff they did in the past but I think this is their best album, 20 years is the golden age ! This is another excellent release from PSYCHEDOOMELIC Rds with some of the most sincere and crushing doomy SLUDGE you can expect...

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