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Released: 2012, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Like an amphetamine fueled Sasquatch at the apex of his bender, San Francisco’s Bottom tramples their audience with graceful and reckless abandon. Lead by stalwart vocalist/guitarist Sina, the trio has been a worthy contender among the doom/stoner/sludge circuit since the late 90’s, taking the occasional hiatus along the way to relocate and regroup. But with each eventual return, Bottom seems to come back more focused and ferocious, as evidenced on their latest EP MMXII. A live in the studio recording that covers material across the band’s discography, MMXII serves a sort of a primer course for new fans, as well as being a reintroduction for the long term faithful.
While each of the five tracks on MMXII bear semblances of the usual genre trappings (low end fuzz, trudging Sabbathian riffs, the faint scent of reefer that somehow permeates out of your speakers), they all present a unique identity that collectively becomes the Bottom sound. Opening track “Pale Horseman” is a grungy saunter that marries Sina’s uber powerful bellow with a dirty foot stompin’ groove, but hints at influences like The Melvins with its crust punk shape shifting. “In an Instant” sounds like a raucous L7/Pantera mashup, while “Scare My Friends” is a sort of doom/blues/Sonic Youth fed almost ballad. “Ode” is pretty straight up traditional thrash, and closing track “Bullseye” is a targeted dose of sludge induced angst, that leaves you feeling just a little dirty at the end.
MMXII does a great job of detailing where Bottom has been and where they intend to journey in the future, and the fact that they chose to do this in “live” setting just seems to add some additional hutzpah to an already potent set of tunes. I’ve had the privilege to hear some of the pre-production demos of the forthcoming full length HUG MYSELF…ALL THE TIME (due out sometime later this year), and as much as I’ve enjoyed Bottom’s catalog to date, I can safely attest that this new album will be their best work yet. But until said album gets a proper release, MMXII is the perfect appetizer to tide you over. Check out Bottom’s website to for more info about the band, samples and purchase info.
1. Pale Horseman
2. In an Instant
3. Scare My Friends
Sina - Guitars, Vocals
Kevin Harding - Bass
Kevin Swartz - Drums
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