main photo (C) by Pawel Wygoda
Recently we posted a short piece about the astoundingly good Doom band from Lubin, Poland, known as Major Kong. Slow, heavy jams caused a wave of calm and satisfaction to descend over the Rip It Up offices. Now, I don’t know if there’s something in the water over there, but we’re just loving this new release by another Polish band, Belzebong, entitled ‘Sonic Scrapes and Weedy Grooves’. Heavy doesn’t even do it half justice!
This release, their first by all accounts, contains four tracks of the most stoned, fuzzy, gorgeously thick, bass-driven riffing. From the moment you press ‘play’ you are assaulted by their unique brand of sludge rock. Now I seem to find that with both Major Kong and Belzebong there is a standard of musicianship and also originality that is sadly lacking in a lot of the UK/US bands of the same genre. I keep saying this – just because a band plays slow, heavy riffs doesn’t make it listenable. The art of song composition, the ability to know how long the lead in should be, the parts, the overall length is just as important as with a ‘normal’ song with lyrics. Don’t think that just standing there playing downtuned stoner rock will create great songs automatically – it won’t. Belzebong know this instinctively, and manage to assault you whilst keeping you coming back for more, battered yet pleased.
The variety available on this release is terrific. For example, the bass guitar is not only used as a battering ram to crush everything in its path, there are also high, distorted bass solo pieces in a very similar vein to Major Kong. It’s the kind of thing that you used to see the late, great Cliff Burton doing onstage during early Metallica gigs, and it is the kind of playing that takes Lemmy – like degrees of control over the big, low tuned bass guitar. It is the kind of material that will appeal to those of you who dig such bands as Stonehelm or Bongripper.
In general the tracks are satisfyingly long, meaning that you get lots of bong for your buck [sorry, I couldn’t resist!] and the quality is just top notch. get yourself over to Bandcamp and invest $5 in this release right now. In fact, here – take my car!!!