Above – Slomatics – photo by Mark
There, I’ve done it again. Spent what seems like an age listening hopefully to a batch of tracks, and then, SMACK!, one jumps out and not so much screams at me, more like slaps me around the face with a large, wet cod. Or something. Having been soaking in the heavy delights of Liverpool’s excellent Conan for a while now, I hadn’t realised that they had released a split album last year [EP more like] with Belfast band Slomatics. So, intrigued by the link, I checked the Northern Irish band out; what a staggering release it is.
And my real reason for posting is that their new album is now recorded, and being readied for mixing!
Many bands take the slow, downtuned approach. I have said this before and will continue to say it – playing slowly and heavy does not a great, listenable track make. Slomatics take the concept of slow doom and beat it until it pleads for mercy. Goodness me; a bassline so thick that it sounds like it emenates from the very bowels of Planet Earth; drums that are delivered in heavy, meaty slaps; all topped off with guitar riffs that are sooooo deeply detuned and heavy that you feel yourself being slowly crushed. Remember that film, ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth‘? This is the soundtrack it should have had. Blistering heat strips skin from the bones, the very essence of our beings left stunned, charred yet pleased.
My experiences have led me to conclude that the Lester Bangs / Julian Cope view, that there is a Righteous path that some music takes you down, is essentially correct. There is a certainly a purifying element in the brutality of the music that Slomatics play; somehow, because it is so slow, so low and so brutal it transcends normal judgments that we make about any song we hear. This has the magic ingredient – the thing that bands like the MC5 and Sunn, for example, were shrewd enough to see – that some musics are attuned so that they reach our [essentially Pagan] souls and, by arriving there, impart their message directly. Slomatics have decided that, in this weakened state, any information that they pass to the listener will bypass their learned conditioning, and go straight into their brain! Awlright!
The band themselves describe their approach thus:
“Slomatics are a heavy rock band from Belfast Ireland, formed in Late 2004 with the words of Can’s Jaki Liebezeit ringing in their ears – “Monotony is a good thing”
With this aim the band stripped away all the fat, and focussed their energies on the singular power of the riff, aided by a slew of Matamps and fuzz pedals. Ditching the conventional concept of a bassist the band use low frequencies and minimalist rhythms to hammer home their message.”
This is huge, epic doom; for sheer ambition, Slomatics should be awarded the freedom of their native Belfast. Three tracks on the split EP just do not let up. Their power is absolute. I for one cannot wait for the next [third] release from this band, and we will most certainly be featuring it when it arrives! Meanwhile, listen to and then buy this – both bands are too good to miss.