COUGH - Ritual Abuse CD
I have to start this one off on a bad note. I first heard about COUGH by reading about em on a friend's blogsite. She mainly focuses on whatever hipster band comes through the area so I get all my knowledge of hipster retardation from her site. If she's reading this, sorry Karen but it's true. It seems that sludge/doom is the latest fad, that and progressive black metal for coffee house worms. She did a live review of COUGH with accompanying video footage of their set. It took roughly ten seconds of listening to them for me to immediately think GRIEF ripoff or at least wannabes. Fast forward to now with CD in the stereo and I'm thinking a more blackened version of GRIEF. COUGH are from Richmond, Virginia a town known for it's sludge metal. In fact before every one's eyes and ears turned towards Atlanta, Georgia, it was Richmond which was the East Coast capital of sludge as well as smelly crusties. GRIEF might've been from Boston but they've probably spent plenty of time sleeping on the filthy floors of party houses in Richmond after shows. I know because they played my area right afterwards. Anyway I'm not gonna call COUGH complete ripoff artists because GRIEF were kings of this genre way back in the 1990s, along with EYEHATEGOD and to some extent BUZZO-VEN (also from Richmond for a time until that bridge burned). They were probably too young to even see GRIEF in their heyday although the band officially called it quits last year so maybe they did see em in their lingering death stage.
Be that as it may this is the band's third release. Prior to signing on with Relapse, a label which now seems to be the home of hipster metal, the band released a EP in 2007 and a full length in 2008 on Forcefield Records. This one here is literally a ritual of abuse on the senses with five cuts three of which pass the twelve minute mark. Their sound is typical blackened SABBATH on cough syrup. I'm guessing hipsters who blast this will not even know about GRIEF. Hipsters are like communists in that they think they invented or discovered everything first. To this band's credit they do know how to bombard the listener with some power riffs and sustained fuzzed drenched feedback. There's over fifty minutes of it which falls in with the title. It probably sounds fuzzier if I was stoned but personally I never went for that "drugs make the music better" schtick. I'm not gonna assume that was the case when they were recording this but maybe somebody in the recording booth was because someone should have yelled "ok that's enough" at the six minute mark on some cuts. I see Sanford Parker from MINSK was responsible for the production so that explains a lot. He was probably staring at all the pretty colored lights on the sound board during the recording. Overall this is pure over-indulgence for anyone in the know but for hipsters it's probably new and exciting. Ok pass me the Robitussin I'm done.