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Luia EP
May 2015
Released: 2015, Independent
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: UK Team

Two years after their self titled introductory EP, Strauss the five piece multi-Euro-national combination have returned to add another five tracks of turbulent fuzz driven sludgery to their discography. Based in London these five like minded musical individuals have assembled again to create some more rampant and disfigured songs that follow on from where the Strauss EP left off. A continuation of them pouring their ethos on record where deep toned distorted guitars are combined with exploratory bass lines and well battered drums to smash the listeners earholes into submission.

The Luia EP shows some aggressive bite from the get go. 'Mud At You' the 1st track is the introductory beast that bares the teeth of this album and it immediately takes a huge chunk out of its victim with a ferocious energy. A fast paced rolling assortment of them fuzz driven guitars curling around and collecting into some well effectual rhythm which has the added amp behind it when Stef the vocalist brings his gritty and sound shredding voice to the foray. Strauss show that they have a bit of aggression in their repertoire through 'Mud At You' but they also display a deeper ability as the EP progresses onto the second track Humanphobic (To Mary Shelley).

Humanphobic shows a different style which employs a more extensively noted, slightly progressive riff that you could expect to hear on a track off of a Mastodon album rather than most other stoner/doom orientated works. This builds and breaks into a patch of slow and atmospheric doom where screams of "We Found God" supply some deep prophetic imagery which may be designed to provoke some sort of discord with their listeners. Stef does assert this statement by singing "Yes we did, yes we did" as if arguing with the sceptic with the headphones on. Everyones a sceptic nowadays of course and we wouldn't have it any other way.

'For All The Wrong Reasons' the third track on Luia appeals on a more emotional level which builds from a softer opening section that transforms into some more aggressive fuzz driven, hammer on riffage which ebbs and flows between slower breakdowns that build back into these aggressive almost punk like in attitude driven wedges of rhythm. There's plenty of bouncing movement within this song but it offers more than just muscle intensive body popping opportunities as the song brings back these ambient periods that twist and mutate into more provocative sections. But as stated there's plenty of bounce- but don't forget to pirouette for the big finish. The song subsides at the end and builds a platform to move into 'Eclipse' which at 8 mins and 16 seconds serves as the longest portion of the EP.

Built upon a slow body of music that dominates the majority of the song 'Eclipse' serves as another stepping stone which shows Strauss' musical progression from where they left on their self titled EP to this piece. Again Strauss show they can break into the harder hitting sludge at any point. One of the most impressive features of this song is Stef's ability to provide some harrowing vocals to then shatter this screen with an incredible lung bursting scream which you would like to pat the guy on the back for if it weren't for the fear of an explosive, possibly nuclear eruption from those hyper inflated lungs of his. The pronounced bass section towards the final portion of the song also stands out as a necessary feature to highlight as it adds an extra dimension and helps keep the listeners full attention.

The final track titled '2015' starts with a little funk orientated riff which then breaks into some of the more recognisable aggression that Strauss like to employ throughout their music. Again there are breaks where tendencies to build atmosphere through slower controlled sections but there is still plenty of assaulting instrumental moments that will get you of your seat smashing your fist into the nearest non-human/animal object. They do like their groove and '2015' shows just how serious Strauss are about it. Sadly its the shortest portion of the EP and also the final piece.

There is a nice level of consistency through this EP with each track applying its own little distinctions with plenty of extremely agreeable music on offer. So if you are addicted to that fuzzy sludge sound that bands like Red Fang and Kyuss produce and you want this and something more then prep yourself for Luia, five tracks of highly listenable noise that will grip you by the gonads and twirl you above head without remorse. Definitely one for those who love all things that are stoner/doom/sludge so prep thy earholes for an enjoyable five tracks of metal.

Review by Pete Mutant
Track Listing

1: Mud At You
2: Humanphobic (To Mary Shelley)
3: For All The Wrong Reasons
4: Eclipse
5: 2015



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» Luia EP
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