maandag 23 november 2020

Swamp Thief - I

Swamp Thief - I
Records DK - October 2020
Sludge, southern, stoner
Rated: ****

Hailing from Swansea, UK, the hulking two-man riff machine that is Swamp Thief deliver the goods on debut album "I". Dealing in dense, filthy distortion and sledgehammer drums, the duo's sound is a potent combo of southern sludge and melodic rock by way of Alice in Chains. First track "Mary" snarls with gritty, pulsing fuzz over stomping drums, broken up by the occasional well-placed cowbell. The full mass of the track is heaved at the listener in the chorus, as the riff slows to a stuttering tumble that feels like a boulder toppling over by its own sheer weight. Amidst all the noise, the earworm vocals still stand out, an impressive combination of Chris Cornell's soaring growls, and Staley and Cantrell's inflected melancholy.  This is just warm up, however, as Swamp Thief thunder into highlight track "Whip Hand". The spiraling riff builds a ten tonne wall of distortion and heaving low end, start-stopping in a trade off with vocal breaks in a bruising game of call and response. Taking in stride the challenge of following the album's first half, the remaining tracks amp up the energy further, swapping slower trudge for high octane stoner. "Maelstrom Queen" blasts off with an onslaught of relentless fuzzy shredding in the vein of Astroqueen, whereas "Tides" mines the vocals' emotional depths. The closer offers up a cathartic chorus that demands live sing-alongs, while still doling out mammoth riffs. Swamp Thief succeed in melding the visceral power of southern sludge with clean vocals and emotive melody, making for an absolutely pummeling sound in search of eardrums to destroy.

(Written by Shasta Beast)







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