Heavy Baby Records – 21st January 2017
Ok, so I’m not one to judge a record by its cover, but obviously there’s a lot to be said for packaging music in – or with – cover art which reflects the contents in some way. Heavy Baby Sea Slugs’ new offering, the Teenage Graveyard Party EP has artwork which says ‘sixteen minutes of raw, full-tilt sludge-metal racket’, and funnily enough, that’s precisely what it delivers (as one might reasonably expect from a band who previously released an album entitled Fistula Missile and who seemingly enjoy considerably more success in Japan and Taiwan than at home in Texas).
‘King Midas of Shit’ launches the EP with a savage deluge of nasty, gnarly noise, piledriving in at a hundred miles an hour. Talk about a sonic slap round the chops! It’s a frantic, frenetic and stubbornly unpolished aural assault which spits and snarls and spews in all directions.
The title track slows the pace and actually offer some semblance of a tune, with some proper singing and everything – at least until about halfway through when the band put their collective pedal to the metal and thrash their way senseless to the end. Don’t expect any cuddles from the bass-led thunder of ‘Pit Bait’, either. It comes on like a Motorhead 45 being played at 33.
The six-minute closer, ‘Zero-One’ really brings the grind with a downtuned, gut-churning trudge that’s somewhere between early Swans and early Melvins. It’s a gruelling dirge which makes no real attempt to get going, and instead spends is time making threats, with slow, heavy drums, scrawling feedback and yawning bass drone. It’s crushingly heavy, and feels like the soundtrack to an eternity in purgatory.
It may only be sixteen minutes in duration, but Teenage Graveyard Party is a gloriously unpleasant, dirty, mangled mess of noise. Party on, dudes.