Pick Your Rock and Metal

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bad, bad boys in big boat of noise

FOR those of you, faithful readers under the age of 16 you may not remember two vital things. Firstly, them there MP3 files weren't always how you listened to music, and secondly, Norn Iron rock and metal music has always had a healthy disrespect of conventions and 'scenes'.

Now, pop pickers you can recapture these two quaint old traditions: veteran noiseniks and doomsters writ large Bad Boat have re-released the Lonely Doom 12" Ep on delicious transparent purple 180gm vinyl.

Ahhh, the nostalgia - 12" EPs, a format that you could luxuriate in, and with Bad Boat, a format to scare the neighbours cats, terrify Tyrannosaurs and make smiley happy people weep with fear.

Bad Boat kicked around the lot quite a lot in the early noughties, and through shufflings of personnel managed to maintain a sound like having your ears dragged through the most delicious sludge you've ever heard.

This is not happy, clappy doom like some of the lesser spotted English proponents push out on sample CDs on the front of magazines. This is doom and sludge like Cathedral missed a down-tuning trick, as if Iommi's moustache grabbed the Gibson SG and dragged a minor chord from Satan's arse. This is Bad in the best of senses.

Title track harkens back to the earliest of Sabbath's riff-tastic nastiness. Lonely Doom is for those nights when you're sitting looking up at the stars wondering when this misery will shift. It's cathartic, and its feckin' heavy.

Second track, Mechanical World is a cover of the proto-metal hippies Spirit track, and maybe doesn't hold up as well as the self-penned material; but that is perhaps because the other tracks have a visceral deathliness to them.

Now kiddies, before enjoying the rest of the EP you'll have to do something that you'll never had to do before with yer CDs. You'll have to be careful, because even if it says 180gms this EP just gets heavier.

Grab your jaw before it hits the deck, because Lucky to Be Breathing is eight minutes plus where Tom Clarke's vocal intro supplants a subtle guitar development which builds behind a slow pound of bass and drums. We vaguely remember hearing this live circa 2008/09 but that damned wah scrambled our senses to oblivion. This is a track that builds like an avalanche, slowly advancing down the hillside of your aural senses, before you are swept up in its wake, thankful not to be buried, and grateful not to die. Cathedral? Nah, this is Clutch on better drugs. Although there is no way to prove this there are parts of Clutch's latest release 'Strange Cousins from the West' that nod towards the Bad Boat vibe here.

Rounding things off is an Uphill Struggle. No, you numpties, that's the song title not the effort required. Here's psychadaelia mixed with doom, sludge and a shed load of introspective heaviness. Sway like a spide who's taken mushrooms for the first time shithead because this rolls along barely under control, weighed down with the sheer weight of metal. Then it gets fast and nasty. We love it.

This is an EP that recalls a band weighty in talent, and a band that deserved more acclaim. There are only 250 hand numbered copies of this 12" EP available now on Freak Flag records. Buy one now, or regret it forever. You don't even need a record player, hold it near a speaker and the slowed down terror within will have those cones vibrating.

PS: we hear a whisper that BB may be rehearsing ahead of a re-emergence. Where do we sign for tickets?

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