Saturday, February 5, 2011

HAARP - The Filth CD review

HAARP - The Filth CD
Housecore Records
Genre: Sludge
Rating: 4/5

I saw HAARP last year when they were on tour with EYEHATEGOD. To say I was impressed with their performance is an understatement. The best part of their set came when singer Shaun Emmons jumped off the stage and was literally screaming the lyrics in people's faces. I talked with Shaun afterwards at his band's merch table and thanked him for illustrating what "in yer face" really means. I should have bought their EP that night but I was watching the budget, beer budget that is. Anyway this is the New Orleans band's debut full length release on Phil Anselmo's label, he also produced it. In a time when Sludge/Stoner Rock has become the new Indie Rock with hipster losers jumping on this bus faster then any previous superficial musical genre I've seen in a long time. It's good to hear something by a band in this genre that's real and has some credibility.

Musically HAARP are not reinventing the wheel here. They're NOLA Sludge which everyone can identify with. What makes them stand apart from the phonies is their attention to detail when it comes to the pain and frustration sweating from their material. Shaun Emmons is, simply put, an incredible vocalist. When he lets loose with a gut wrenching growl it lasts longer then that battery bunny. You listen to his voice and wonder if he was raised by alligators. The guy is a maniac and he can whip out a higher pitched scream as well. Then comes the music on here which is not completely paint by the numbers sludge in fact they color outside the lines quite a few times on here. They add some psych damage (not stoner) on a few cuts plus a lot of traditional Doom to the mix. Guitarist Grant Tom has this keen sense of keeping the brutality dynamic steady. The Filth is not a release for hipsters to groove to. It's long drawn out punishment obviously because most of the songs on here are long drawn out affairs.



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