Thursday, May 05, 2011

Olde Growth - s/t

Olde Growth

Heavy rock is festooned with duos these days, usually with the guitarist plugging into a bass amp and tuning down to give the grunge heft. Olde Growth goes the next step and replaces the guitar with a bass – throw a distortion pedal on that puppy and you’ve got the same bowel-scraping riffs, but with an even leaner and meaner attack. OG isn’t the first to do it this way, of course – howdy, Om – but the pair is less interested in experimenting with the outer fringes of feedback symphonettes and more keen to blast, pound and smash. The band presents itself as a surprisingly graceful beast on Sequoia, Everything Dies and The Grand Illusion, as bassist/singer Stephen Loverme alternately growls and croons (except on Everything Dies, which lets the riffs do the talking) and easily makes up for the lack of a six-string with sensual riffology. OG also demonstrates a feel for psych/prog with the three-part Cry of the Nazgul/The Second Darkness/To the Black Gate, a Tolkien-themed epic that hits every aspect of the duo’s multi-faceted sound without flagging. Impressive.

- Michael Toland
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