New Jersey is a pretty terrible place. Having lived on the East coast and having to take that dreadfully long bus ride from Long Island to the Allentown area to visit my grandparents was made more than marginally worse by the stench that filled the vehicle around 10 miles outside of Newark. Imagine some really rotten cheese stuffed between a hygienically-challenged man's toes, then put through an oil refinery plant. Jesus, I'm surprised my nose still retains some sense of functionality. Home to such brooding acts as Evoken and Krohm, it is obvious that the horrendous stench has permeated into the very souls of its inhabitants, yet young atmospheric sludge act Gholas must view the horrifying mediocrity that surrounds them as something so horrendous it is almost grand and majestic.
Yes, utilizing the sheer rawness and grit of early-80s "no wave" in conjunction with the ethereal grandeur of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's modern classical-tinged post-rock and the down-on-his-luck-beardy-man somber heaviness of mid-era Neurosis, Gholas prods the listener into reconsidering the horrorendously thick smog hovering over most of New Jersey as something so awful and putrid that it is almost awe-inspiring in its grandeur.
Sure, comparisons can be made to the "world being crushed under Scott Kelly's/Aaron Turner's beard" sound that has been popularized these past few years, but Gholas's crusty and at-times violent take on this popular genre hearkens back to a time where the "artcore" aspect was still fresh and new, yet still taking a backseat to what is still unmistakably heavy-as-the-goddamn-sun sludge. Don't get me wrong, I love ISIS as much as the next guy, it's just nice to hear a variant/regression with a little more, oh, cojones.
Overall: Gholas is cool, ballsy, artsy, heavy sludge. Buy their CD from them...seriously.