Friday, June 3, 2011

Sun Splitter / Bridesmaid -"Split 7"" (2011) [Bastard Sloth Records]

Every once in a while someone will find a band that makes them double take and ask "Wait, what the fuck just happened?" For me, that band will forever be Chicagoan experimental doom trio Sun Splitter. Their drum-machine and loop-fueled excursions through noise, droning doom metal, harsh metal grooves, and early 80s "no wave" has earned them a special place in my heart as one of the absolute weirdest and original bands in these recent years. Their strong, Swans-meets-Wolf Eyes track "Plum Blossom" features thick, noisy drones and pounding, lifeless programmed drums that one might expect from a Hospital Productions release, but what I feel is the strongest point of the entire track are the vocals of one A. Dunn. These effects-laden, disembodied Michael Gira-esque howls and moans add that extra layer of atmosphere and confusion that really pushes Sun Splitter from being "that cool, weird doom band" to something really, truly special (not to take importance away from the guitarists, everything works together in complete "harmony" to reach this end).

Ohio's Bridesmaid, while equally as strange, fills the B-side of this 7", taking a little more of a conservative route (as opposed to Sun Splitter) towards doom. The instrumental "Vilkin' It For All It's Worth" is a groovy, tripped-out exercise in textural stoner doom. This is some thick music, like that mysterious gunk you might find under your shoe after walking through an industrial park (it's about that dirty, too). At first I actually thought that this was a guitar-less band, only to turn up my speakers and have my subwoofer rumble like it never has before. Yes, these guitars are tuned down so low that the bass is more of a rumbling than actually audible, and that is pretty damn cool. It's recorded live in the studio, it's raw, and it's a nice, more laid back and less intense counterpart to Sun Splitter.

Overall, I'd say this is a pretty awesome 7" that showcases two up-and-coming bands in the underground doom scene. Though I had already had my positive views on Sun Splitter, this further solidified them, and I'll definitely have to look more into Bridesmaid's material. If you ever get the chance to see Sun Splitter live (like I did just last night), I'd highly recommend attending. Order this release, and a handful of other neat-looking releases at Bastard Sloth Records's Bigcartel for a mere $5.



  1. Never heard of either of these groups but I'll certainly check them out. Thanks for the rec.

  2. Actually, Bridesmaid *is* a guitar-less band. It's a drummer, two bass players, and at least 5 humongous bass amps! Awesome to see play live, and heavy as hell.


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