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Released: 2011, Meteor City
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Olde Growth is a two wrecking crew comprised of vocalist and bassist Stephen LoVerme and Ryan Berry. Their debut self titled full-length album comes housed in an eco-friendly, recycled cardboard digipak. The front cover features a black and white photo of a forest, so in a nutshell everything about this record screams crunchy granola.
The disc begins with "The Grand Illusion" an upbeat barnstormer with catchy vocals and somewhat progressive, wandering melody lines. At times as a listener it's easy to overlook that this band is lacking a six string electric guitar as vocalist and bassist Stephen and drummer Ryan gel together so well. Speaking of which, on the album's second track "Life In The Present" the listener is treated to a bass guitar solo, dubbed over the designated rhythm bass track. How often do you get a chance to hear something like that? Awesome.
Perhaps the crown jewel of this disc is the album's third track, the three part "Cry of the Nazgul/The Second Darkness/To the Black Gate". On this ten minute romp Olde Growth offer up a string of percussive tempo changes, a variety of vocal styles and the dirtiest sounding bass imaginable.
A name like "Sequoia" might conjure mental images of massively tall pine trees. Olde Growth's take on "Sequoia" hits like a doomy morning after hangover set on cracking open your skull from the inside out with it's mind numbing heaviness. The track that follows titled "Red Dwarf" is best described as an atmospheric, noise piece that introduces the crashing, thumping sonic bitch slap that is "Everything Dies" a droning, sludgy dirge of distorted bass guitar badassedness.
This is a very solid release from Olde Growth that I would expect to go over well in stoner/doom/sludge circles. If your a fan of old SST bands drenched in fuzz and distortion like Saint Vitus and Dinosaur Jr. than I would strongly recommend checking out Olde Growth.
Stephen LoVerme - Bass, Vocals
Ryan Berry - Drums
1. The Grand Illusion
2. Life in the Present
3. Cry of the Nazgul / The Second Darkness / To the Black Gate
5. Red Dwarf
6. Everything Dies
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