BADR VOGU - Exitium CD
Genre: Stoner / Sludge
These days a stoner sludge band coming from Oakland, California is about as surprising as finding Chinese food in China. Former home of stoner / sludge vinyl oddities, Man's Ruin Records, called San Fran home which is just a little ways away so I'm sure their influence flowed a bit on the wind or club scene to Oakland. Whether or not BADR VOGU is a devotee of that former label's catalog, their sound is far from average. Any fledgling musicians out there in this not so wonderful world who plan on starting a stoner sludge band should pick up this release prior to them taking the plunge. What we have here is a learning tool or teacher's aid. This is how you create a unique off kilter take on a well worn music genre and get away with calling yourselves some what original.
To the oblivious music listening bozos out there, whom may or may not be some of my close yet jaded friends, what BADR VOGU is actually doing on this their debut full length might seem like just basic stoner sludge. Thankfully my well trained music instincts say otherwise. BADR VOGU do have all of your basic genre tools ie: Sabbathian blues song structures, down tuned despondency and an eclectic song pace equal to that of watching a bunch of fucked up hippies in a foot race. The differences they add in are actual song writing chops, barked bellows throated vocals, samples pinched from movies or the local college audio department that actually fit the songs (good job on "Nomad", is that Emperor of the North Pole?) and finally they're more crusty aka: more ASBESTOS DEATH than SLEEP, more southern hostility than southern sludge and comfort.
All of that thrown together plus BADR VOGU manage to create almost fifty minutes of music in 7 songs, without tapping the boredom setting. Frankly I find that freaking amazing considering what usually passes my way when it comes to stoner sludge is equal to drinking a cup of sleepy time tea to wash down the handful of barbiturates. Then again when you have fierce sounding riffs paired up with thundering bass and self flagellating vocals it's hard to nap out. The last two cuts on here, "Slumlord Blues" as well as "Barons of Filth" is where that prior assessment meets this band and sets them apart from the chattel. Definitely a band to keep an eye on who has not been caught in the hype light.