|Undersmile play Doom... just not the way as we know it.|
I feel like I've been run over by a steamroller driven by Michael Gira, with Lucio Fulci directing traffic.
Undersmile (which is a slang term for a lady's "front bottom", in case you were not aware) are a four piece from Oxford, England. They play what could be best described as a mix of sludge and drone. "It's doom, Jim... but not as we know it." (I realize this was never a line in the original Star Trek, but work with me here)
"Narwhal" is their first full length, and I'm sure that it bacons at midnight. Seriously though, this... this album... is fucking impressive. It reminds me immediately of equal parts Melvins and Burning Witch, or perhaps a female fronted Moss. The vocal chants and screams of Taz and Hel can only be described as discordant and often utterly terrifying. Imagine L7 playing doom. Now, imagine Linda Blair's character from The Exorcist fronting that band. At this point, you'll start to get an idea of what Undersmile sound like.
When it comes to the music, the term "plodding along" would be an understatement (and one hell of a compliment, too). I can go make myself a sandwich between some of these chords. Mind you, from 80s style horror movie riffs (near the end of opener 'Lockjaw'), to the blackened death/doom progressions (around 4:30 into 'Milk'), and the sheer filth and sludge of songs such as 'Berk' (and ermahgerd, is it ever heavy!), there is a surprising amount of variety here. This is an impressive fact when you consider just how cohesive this whole album is.
The songs themselves are powerful. Each one will take you on a trip, and it'll be to a place you probably don't want to go alone. Some of the... 'things’... on here (such as 'Myra'--arguably the standout track on "Narwhal") approach and even match the brutality, of "Cop" era Swans. Even the three interludes (which sound a little like something from a Silent Hill soundtrack) feel like pieces of a whole, rather than just space fillers.
Overall, those with less experience in doom will be wont to compare this band to Electric Wizard, and while "Narwhal" may very well be their "Dopethrone", don't be so easily fooled. Undersmile will take you to places Electric Wizard fear to tread, then drag you under the filth with them... and you will ask for more.
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9. The Unthinkable
Duration : Approx. 80 minutes
Visit the Undersmile bandpage.