They are saying it’s best to by no means decide a ebook by its cowl, so I didn’t. Though the quilt of Seum’s sophomore Double Double set off alarm bells in my head regarding the high quality and elegance of the music contained therein. However garish because the artwork is, it is perhaps the most effective factor in regards to the album. Seum’s model of stoner-sludge right here is (virtually actually) one-note. And whereas there are components of curiosity, and so they play that one be aware effectively, it’s not practically as gripping as angsty, heavy music like this must be. Very like consuming an unlimited bowl of grocery store own-brand vanilla ice cream, Double Double does the job wonderful, however is a bit of bland, and in dire want of extra taste and texture. I ought to have trusted my intestine.
Seum double down on the already low, dirty sludge sound by making the bass the star of the present, and eliminating treble guitar. That is efficient at preserving the riffs chunky, and the gritty, storage manufacturing solely enhances it. When sure breakdowns (“Razorblade Rainbow,” “Double Double”) hit, you’ll should struggle your self to forestall compulsive headbanging and swaying. And there are additionally some beautiful ‘bleh’s and prolonged screams (“Canine Days,” “Seum Noir”). To not point out loads of emphatically crashing cymbals (“Torpedo,” “Canine Days”). In actual fact, the drumming is a specific spotlight; Frédéric Lepoutre knocks the shit out of the equipment with palpable aptitude. That is all fairly good, lemon-face-inducing punky sludge steel. The snag is that Double Double lacks total presence, and due to this fact, the flexibility to maintain the listener engaged from one vaguely thrilling part to the following.
On an album that hardly exceeds half an hour, materials that on paper must be viciously compelling manages to really feel drained. The hardcore tinge that manifests in off-key sing-shouts (“Torpedo,” “Canine Days,” “Seum Noir”) and d-beat flirtation runs towards each the knuckle-dragging menace of the sludge, and the hazy easygoingness of the stoner doom. Because of this, all types really feel unconvincing as soon as Seum has chucked all of them at you at the least as soon as. Opener “Torpedo” appears to vow a lot with its strong psychedelic riffing and punchy percussion, however loses focus, and finally ends up tedious and wishy-washy. Nearer “Double Double,” whose major riff echoes that of the primary, does a greater job of mixing disparate offended types, with some exceptionally tortured vocals in addition. These literal bookends successfully characterize one spectrum on which Seum operates—bland however serviceable to aggressive and intriguing. They don’t seem to be the ends of the standard spectrum, nevertheless. “Razorblade Rainbow” and “Canine Days,” simply stand above the remaining for his or her gnarly power, snappy drum fills, and common dynamism.
Except for the aforementioned songwriting points, Double Double shouldn’t be helped by additional idiosyncrasies. The thirty-second interlude “Toil and Hassle” is completely disposable, however frustratingly so, since its pulsing suggestions looks like an immersive intro to a track that isn’t there. The unusual, bitter movie samples spliced all through are in themselves the correct quantity of bizarre for a kooky bundle of spunky sludge comparable to this. However for some cause, in follow, they arrive throughout as jarring. The odd digression on “Razorblade Rainbow” cuts a boring wedge between the comparatively wonderful dirty psychedelia and punky breakdown that sandwich it. The airport tannoy that closes “Snow Hen” additionally saps the vigor of the ascending scales and gritty riffing from that track’s finish. That being stated, perhaps that is the whole level of such samples, to poke enjoyable, and to be foolish.
I don’t wish to say it, nevertheless it’s albums like Double Double that vindicate these intestine emotions that discourage me from giving music like this a attempt. It doesn’t stand out from the group and it doesn’t hit arduous. Seum little question will attraction to some who like their sludge punky, no-nonsense, and simple; one thing to interrupt the silence. However for others, Double Double’s excessive factors aren’t sufficient to encourage repeat visits.
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 260 kb/s VBR mp3
Web sites: seumtheband.bandcamp.com | fb.com/Seumtheband
Releases Worldwide: February 2nd, 2023