Free Flush Vol 5

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It’s been a while, which means even more NYOP releases have come out on Bandcamp since my last article. This time around I’ve tried to stick to doomy stoner territories including adjacent sounds, often emphasizing vibes over production quality. I know how valuable vibes are to you internet folk these days. Download these for free, or spend a dollar to add them to your collection, or preferably give them a nice donation or buy merch. If you dig something, maybe share it too (And this article, definitely share this article).

Here’s the previous Volumes of Free Flush for a deep dive on free tunes:
Vol 1 – Vol 2 – Vol 2.5 – Vol 3 –  Vol 4

Huntress Of Stars – Borrowed Eyes With Which To Sorrow

June 18, 2020
Sludgecore/Post Metal from America
Artwork by Unexpected Specter

Tasty, just tasty. I knew I was going to like this one when I saw the cover, done by an artist I’ve featured regularly in the past year or so due to the quality of their artwork AND the quality of the albums it goes on. There’s a hodgepodge of styles on this album including stoner, post metal, sludge, hardcore, electronic and all sorts. It’s somewhere between Infant Island and Dopelord, which is a comparison I don’t think has ever been made before. It’s suitably lofi, wistful and yet still packs a lot of aggression with the unclean vocals verging into hardcore skramz territory at times, black metal at others. Despite having so many elements, it feels cohesive and I wouldn’t see a point in changing any aspect of it. I adore the poetry of it all from the words to the occasional weeping guitar that stirs something amongst the directed anger.

Wounded Cross – Our Future Is Dead

June 26, 2020
Stoner/Rock/Prog from United Kingdom
Artwork by Alan O’Neil

The album title Our Future Is Dead is a potent one in regards to not just the world right now, but the band itself considering itself to have no future. This is essentially Wounded Cross‘ “final” album, of which the intent is to record the essence of the band, to snapshot the live energy of the music. As such it isn’t intended as a polished studio release—it was recorded live and in my opinion this serves its purpose well. I like the fuzzy edges on the production here. It’s akin to many ’70s rock bands but with more of a biting edge that comes from ’80s/’90s metal influences, from thrash to sludge. The vocals are clean but probably not what you’d expect from stoner or doom; it’s almost a post-punk or goth rock approach to lyric delivery. I find the tracks to be varied and engaging, with the quirks of analogue adding a lot of character. Whether this band will stay true to the death admission is unknown; I’ve seen many bands unable to completely stay away from making music.

Acidsaurus Bong – The Dirty Jurassic Acid Test

May 3, 2020
Stoner/Sludge from United Kingdom

I wasn’t sober when I listened to this (or right now), and that’s the perfect way to do it. There’s some straight up alcoholic anthems on here that have a solid groove coated in a thick layer of grime—particularly the vocals, which sound so low and gruff you could swear it was the sewer people in Futurama. This is a very under-the-radar debut release (they have like 34 followers on FB) with a promising execution. The vocals, bass and guitar stand out often with good placement, surprisingly intricate licks and competent motion building. Unlike many stoner bands who prefer to keep things light or psychedelic, Acidsaurus Bong has a very dark side to it that resonates with me more. May your Whiskey River be forever wet.

Zorro))) – Zorro)))

July 7, 2020
Experimental/Sludge/Noise from Belgium
Artwork by Owenito

This album is a very noisy lucky dip, or showbag. I’m not sure which of these are a universal analogy. At the essence it’s noise sludge but done so through the lens of someone who is quite clearly a big fan of Melvins and Mike Patton, probably Butthole Surfers, Boris and Merzbow too. You know the crowd, it’s among my favorite music scenes too so I appreciate the various apparent influences presenting in the sound. There’s also heavier modern doom styles with some gurgly death-like vocals performed over absolutely overclocked, shaking bass. It’s an interesting, often menacing atmosphere.

Thou – Blessings Of The Highest Order

June 5, 2020
Sludge/Grunge/Noise from America

This is a compilation of all of Thou‘s Nirvana covers over the years. I don’t like Nirvana much, I listened a lot as a teen and grew pretty sick of it. I don’t think grunge should have ever been subjected to celebrity glorification like it was with Kurt. This take on the sound however, brings it closer to the underbelly grunge sound with more noise and shouting. More punk. Nirvana had a lot of good riffs which Thou repurpose to great effect, filling the bland or repetitive parts with something more interesting, more abrasive. Many of these are superior versions of songs we’re all familiar with, many of the songs are deep cuts that may be new to a lot of people. It’s a fun one to explore and they have the best Bandcamp banner I’ve seen.

Gospel Of Death – We Are Only Here To Suffer

January 15, 2020
Funeral Doom/Ambient from Canada
Artwork by Vulture

Funeral Doom is a difficult genre to do convincingly despite the jokes that it’s the easiest genre due to its insanely slow pace. Well funeral ain’t drone, there’s a lot melody that still has to exist and stories to be told. The story here is exactly the kind of subject matter that should be explored in one of metal’s bleakest possible genres—that of utter defeatism. There are various elements at play here with the guitars, drums and vocals doing the heavy lifting, but there is also ambient, electronic and acoustic dulcimer, adding layers to the overall sound. Vocally, it’s death doom mixed with lyrically clear whispering. This is a good quiet listen that I’ll probably put on when sleeping or studying. Perhaps not night walks—you may end up flinging yourself into traffic.

Purveyors Of Sonic Doom – Sonic Colossus/Mankind Is Unkind

May 10, 2020/April 14, 2020
Lofi Doom/Sludge from Canada
Both artwork by @zulfajrimb

True to their band name, this duo provides a lot of sonic doom. They’re prolific and they’re committed to a lofi DIY approach. Figured I’d end with a double helping since both of these albums have great covers and are free. They have developed a certain aesthetic over the last couple of years after punching out a bunch of demos and live shows. It’s not intended for everyone and thus a lot of people won’t like it, very weak and feeble people. It often goes against the expected groove of doom and sludge with aggressive pinching vocals and drumming that fucks with timing in interesting ways. These are some filthy abysmal tunes for musical nihilists and masochists.

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