The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Hey Joe
This was near enough the first song I learned to play on guitar when I was beardless, squeaky-voiced and about a foot smaller than I am now. A few years on (ten? twelve? twelve and a half?) I now have a couple of students of my own, and we’ve been learning this one again. What a great reason to revisit and remind myself why it’s always going to be a stone cold classic. Jimi is a god. There’s fantastic licks, a cool chord sequence and a really fun, bluesy solo that’s as good for beginners as it is for the more experienced players.
I wonder if Joe ultimately ever made it down to Mexico without being stopped at border control.
Gatecreeper – Emptiness
The new Gatecreeper EP is ace. Conceptually influenced by Black Flag’s My War, it has a few minutes of blistering, grind-y hardcore punk anger before this eleven-minute epic.
It’s a lot slower than the release’s Side A, but as someone who’s always gravitated towards the doomy and sludgy side of metal, it sticks out for me as a real masterpiece. With loads of different passages, and a healthy mix of emotion and pure filth, it shows Gatecreeper’s increasing maturity and wide palette of influence.
Sumeru – Cold Chamber
I reviewed the new Sumeru EP a month ago and this song blew my little mind. A blistering mix of sludge and death metal, with a bit of blackened doom at the end, it’s clearly been made for live shows. It’s heavy as a herd of elephants and they pull off the desired effect devastatingly well.
I hadn’t heard of the guys before reviewing them. What was most surprising for me upon hearing this is that it’s Sumeru’s first release with a new vocalist, and a real step up in heaviness compared to all their older work. You’d have thought they’d been making songs like this for years, the machine seems that well-oiled.
Alice in Chains – All I Am
Rainier Fog was a very underrated album for the grunge legends, although it’s been out for almost three years now and it gradually fell out of my regular rotation. ‘All I Am’ came up on shuffle the other day and I’d completely forgotten about it and the effect it has on me.
Devastatingly and hauntingly emotional, it evokes strong disconsolate and hopeless feelings throughout its runtime. The lyrics, harmonies and music are a perfect match for each other and the song is just incredibly well-written. Definitely one for when you’re in a mood and need to hear someone else feel your pain.
Compost Golem – Untitled I
This isn’t for the faint of heart. One of my friends recommended me Compost Golem a few weeks ago – the name stuck out alone as a reason to listen to them. A lot of recommendations we tend to get amongst the doom and sludge community go along the lines of ‘you have to check these guys out because they’re the heaviest thing ever’, but my mate told me that Compost Golem actually were the real deal.
It’s hard to put how ridiculously and laughably heavy Compost Golem are into words. I guess it’s doom at its core, but there’s a bit of noise, black metal, industrial and sludge mixed in there. It’s abrasive, full of bile and hatred, and pure nightmare fuel. I love it. Untitled I is particularly unsettling from their self-titled EP – as far as I’m aware, though, that’s all that’s out there. Shame, really. I guess the world wouldn’t be prepared for any more.