Friday, March 11, 2016

Dirty Night In Town...

dOwnhill / Hippie Doom Squad - Split (2016)

Bringing together dOwnhill's self-titled EP and Hippie Doom Squad's Live Volume EP (and adding a couple of cassette-exclusive tracks in the process), the Belarus-based label Riff Dealers assembled this split to show-case these two bands to new listeners, as well as those who may have heard one band but not the other.
dOwnhill leads first, opening with a deep fuzz rumble on "A Rake's Progress", and soon moving into full deployment of their sludgy/stoner/doom blend of music.  Shredded vocals arc over the bass-strengthened riffs and heavy rhythms from the drums, keeping things gnarly but violent as the group delivers their spine-jangling beats.  They also avoid locking themselves into a single mode, as change-ups like the acoustic (but thoroughly low-tuned) opening of "Nvnces†" and the clean/dirty switches of "Burial at Sea" make obvious, but there's a darkly psychedelic under-current carrying through most of their material.
On Hippie Doom Squad's side, a corroded sample loop carries the intro through industrial clanking and on into some live crusty sludge with a high slide towards punk.  Near-gurgled vocals and cranked-out bass ensure adequate grime, a few more dirty-sounding vocal samples get dropped into the grinder, and squeals of feedback cut in semi-regularly.  Throw in a crushed cover of Queen's "We Will Rock You", and HDS turn out a seriously debaucherous set of songs.
Physical copies of the split are still available for order through Riff Dealers' BandCamp, or if you're more digitally-inclined, you can pick up each side individually (though you'll miss out on the bonus tracks that way).  In any event, be sure to check out these two up-and-coming sludge collectives, and play it loud.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Dead Existence, Grey Widow, Hypnochron, Legalize Crime, Sea Bastard


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