Thursday, September 04, 2014

A Country Calling

BASK ~ American Hollow (2014)


Every now and then a record comes along that you immediately love, you can't really explain it, but you know it when you hear it. It grabs you by the throat and makes you sit forward and really take notice. That was Bask's "American Hollow" for me, a minute into the first track and I could already tell that the album was going to be in pretty heavy rotation for a while, and it has been. With it's roots in some genres you don't always see listed together, they pull sounds from Doom Metal, Stoner Metal, Post-Rock, even a little Psychedelic and Americana just to round everything out nicely. Their overall sound is a huge one, the sort that you just tend to get lost in it from one track to another. With the heavy, bludgeoning Doom Metal inspired riffs popping up on the album, you have vocals that could be from Nashville circa 1953 spread across the whole thing, mix that with the atmosphere and expansiveness found in most Post-Rock and a rough image starts to emerge of what these guys sound like. Picking a single favorite off of an album that has 6 great tunes on it is a difficult task, but the opener "High Mountain Pass" is really what got my attention, with its intensity and massive sound. When it starts up, after a short and punchy drum intro, you're slapped with a crunchy riff that leads into the soaring, melodic vocals dropping in. When you get to the one of the longer instrumental passages, the whole group sounds really tight as they play, functioning just like a well oiled machine to propel the track forward. The rhythm section is swinging the entire time, even when the guitar and vocals slow down a bit just after halfway and gives way to an atmospheric section, like a soundscape of looking out over a forested mountain range, wilderness as far as the eye can see. The track takes a couple turns here and there after that, but never loses any of its immensity in the process. If this track tickles your fancy, there are five more and none clock in at less that five minutes. You can pick up a digital version of one of this year's absolute best albums already over on BASK's bandcamp, and pre-orders are already up over at Crimson Eye Records for the vinyl that is going to start shipping later on in the month, in either gold or black.
~Skip

For Fans Of; Solar Halos, Jupiter Zeus, Across Tundras