Four years on from their ‘Nemea’ album, UK progressive sludge merchants Fissure of Riddles make a particularly intensive noise on their 2022 release ‘The Marble Realm’. Four of its six songs take a very long time to sometimes do very little, but for fans of such a slow and oppressive style, that moody and methodical approach to a riff results in the kind of album that’s almost guaranteed to make an impression.
Plying their trade in London and South East England, roots rock band Rowsie spent a long time perfecting their direct musical approach and a core sound. In their case, “perfecting” doesn’t necessarily mean “perfect”, as Rowsie often revel in clinging onto a ragged musical heart. Armed with overdriven guitars that take influence from the noisier aspects of Uncle Tupelo, Grant Lee Buffalo and Crazy Horse and mixing that with a melodic streak that blends roots rock with folk and pop, it creates a full blooded very natural experience. On their ‘Searching’ EP (released in June 2022), they finally make good on the sounds and influences that peppered their earlier single releases.
In September 2021, Turn Cold’s debut EP ‘Break Your Faith’ introduced a band with a lot of spirit and a very old school approach to almost everything. Their combination of a riff heavy sound and no-frills production style had much in common with many second division thrash bands from the late 80s, and for many, that was enough to suggest this was a band with a lot of potential.
Coming out of a pandemic lockdown and determined to make some noise, five guys from Europe hit upon a new musical idea. Members of punk band Suicide Generation teamed up with guys from Desperate Fun and Lysergics and took a musical detour. Hard Times was born with the idea of casting aside their punky pasts, and instead paying homage to glam rock, sleaze rock, and even the proto-glam rock ‘n’ roll of New York Dolls. It is a job that their debut EP ‘Little Satan’ does brilliantly in its own no-frills and semi lo-fi way.
British sludge/doom/alternative outfit Sail aren’t the most prolific band, but they’re one of those acts that seem to offer something of genuine interest whenever new music arrives. In August 2021, their two track single ‘Flood’ showcased their knack for massive riffs, but also showed how they could make an almost unmovable sound seem more atmospheric than some of their peers. An accompanying remix actually gave the material a further lift when demonstrating how the original recording had an almost mechanical, semi-industrial feel beneath the riff, and further suggested that Sail’s best material presented far more than a heavy vibe.