Grunge

Thou – Umbilical Review

Thou – Umbilical Review

“When I first came on as a writer here, I had all kinds of ideas about what bands I’d be reviewing before the reality of seniority fully hit me in the solar plexus. I wanted to review Pallbearer. I got there, but I had to wait until they…uh…weren’t that good anymore and other, more senior writers moved on. I wanted to review Panopticon. Still waiting on that one. Same with YOB. I wanted to review Inter Arma, and Grymm surprisingly took pity on a n00b, so I’m forever grateful for that. Today I get to check off another goal. When Akerblogger left these halls, I loudly proclaimed dibs on any future Thou records.” Thee, Thou, wow.

Idiot Robot – Anti Pop Culture Review

Idiot Robot – Anti Pop Culture Review

“Perusing the promo sump, I stumbled across Idiot Robot, intrigued by the grunge tag they were saddled with. Being an avid fan of the ’80’s/’90’s grunge scene, Seattle rock movement and ’90’s alt-rock in general, I’m a sucker for this shit. Hell, even 2023’s Somnuri album, which kicked endless arse, sealed my love with its earwormy grunge hooks and melodies. Under closer investigation, I realized our resident spongey friend Kenstrosity reviewed the Floridian duo’s self-titled debut album in 2020, where despite endearing elements of nostalgia, the end result was something akin to a dumpster fire. Nearly four years have passed, and everyone has room for improvement, right?” Robot problems.

Spider Kitten – A Pound for the Peacebringer Review

Spider Kitten – A Pound for the Peacebringer Review

“Welsh oddballs Spider Kitten have been out there for over two decades now, dealing in their super eclectic brand of sludgy, stoner, groovy doom, heavily laced with prog, folk and more. With numerous releases to their name, you never know quite what you are going to get from Spider Kitten. You kinda know the ballpark but precisely what sport will be played in it is anyone’s guess from record to record.” Kitchen sink-core.

Till the Dirt – Outside the Spiral Review

Till the Dirt – Outside the Spiral Review

Till the Dirt is comprised of Atheist members Shaefer, guitarist Jerry Witunsky, and bassist Yoav Ruiz-Feingold, as well as Soreption guitarist Ian Waye and Fermentor drummer Dylan Marks. With an Atheist-heavy lineup, what can we expect from Till the Dirt? Well, death metal with nu-metal was not on my Bingo card.” Things that should stay buried.

Somnuri – Desiderium Review

Somnuri – Desiderium Review

“Those familiar with Somnuri’s previous work can expect a similar Cobb salad of influences from early Mastodon to Helmet to savage NYHC. Somnuri and Nefarious Wave occasionally added passages of straight sludge doom in the vein of YOB, and the removal of these marks the largest shift in sound evident in Desiderium.” Sludge as a lifestyle choice?

Cave In – Heavy Pendulum [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Cave In – Heavy Pendulum [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

“Although well aware of their revered reputation, I largely came to Cave In via the awesome Mutoid Man. I have since come to deeply respect and appreciate chunks of the band’s diverse catalog, and solid crossover appeal. Final Transmission, 2019’s heart-wrenching tribute to their fallen brother Caleb Scofield, who tragically passed away in a car accident in 2018, was a stripped-back and poignant album, featuring Scofield’s final musical contributions. Rather than shut up shop on the back of a tragic loss, Cave In discovered newfound inspiration and forged on.” Still swinging.

Greg Puciato – Mirrorcell Review

Greg Puciato – Mirrorcell Review

“Greg Puciato staved off the post-Dillinger blues by diving headlong into a raft of existing and new musical endeavors. Whether it be mainstream metal supergroup Killer Be Killed, electro project The Black Queen, lending a helping hand on Jerry Cantrell’s recent solo album, or pursuing his versatile musical realms under his own name. Puciato’s 2020 debut, Child Soldier: Creator of God, marked an ambitious, sprawling start to his solo career.” Expanding the plans.

Desert Clouds – Planexit Review

Desert Clouds – Planexit Review

“When Britain left the European Union, nearly every country in the Union had a populist party or two stand up and shout: “Now it’s our turn!” Variations on the name Brexit were the hippest hashtags for a fortnight, including Nexit for the Netherlands, the unwieldy Italexit for Italy, and the strangely upbeat Fixit for Finland. With a wry smile and knowing wink, London-based quartet Desert Clouds decided to base these political kerfuffles in a more cosmic scenario. What kind of union is the titular planet exiting though? And who would be the equivalent of Boris Johnson in this allegory?” Space erase.