We’d be missing a trick by not mentioning the two bands whose members have birthed Rowsdower, the vibrant sludge band who’s brand new LP we’re premiering today. Two of the angriest, heaviest bands to ever come from the sunny West Coast, Admiral Angry and Black Sheep Wall are famous for having a stupendous disregard for safe levels of decibel abuse, and an acerbic, often dark to the point of punishing sense of humor. Rowsdower’s debut LP The Michael Jordans of Suicide continues with this trend but reaches out into more heady territory at the same time. Don’t just take my word for it though. Find it over the jump.
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Parked behind the wheel of a convertible driving through the desert – with Primitive Man and Torche blasting through the radio – Rowsdower’s debut should satisfy anyone looking for sludge with a little added soul. Countering that, fans of traditional stoner music who crave more volume and feedback with each hit will definitely latch onto this lethal lungful. The music of the bands this trio are attached to lives through feedback-heavy hitters like “New Old” and “AUM” – utilizing a snail-pace slog with incredibly rich tones from all of the instruments to create a truly decadent sludge sound. When the cymbals crash alongside the powerful kick drum and fuzzed-over strings, you’ll feel it right down in your plums. On the latter track, Rowsdower prove that sometimes less is more, letting the thick smog of their primal riffing fill the air between notes, drawing each one out ’til it seems like the song might just be finishing. And then it all comes crashing in again. Hefty stuff.
What really elevates The Michael Jordans of Suicide above the rest of the baying crowd (other than the ridiculous album title) is Rowsdower’s triple vocal attack, most prominently displayed on “PCP HOMEBOY (I Am A Black Wizard)”. The trident of hardcore rasp, doom bellow, and saccarine stoner purr, cut in and around each other over the course of this nine-minute bulldozer of low-tuned, low-slung riffing; turning the buzz and cut of stoner rock into something far more ethereal. I’m going to call it primordial desert sludge in the vague hope that the genre tag will catch on, and I’ll be credited some twenty years down the line as the guy who coined the term. The last Black Sheep Wall record didn’t fit perfectly into the structure of doom or sludge, and neither does this. It’s sleazy, it’s breezy, and it might just blow your face off.