DITCHLIQUOR (s/t) CD-R
First off, it's a big secret for me why this band is still unsigned, because this is one of the most promising underground releases, I received in a long time. This is their self-released debut album, and in opposite to the poor package of this CD-R, the here included cuts are well-crafted and charged with downtuned heaviness and unexpected twists and turns. DITCHLIQUOR was formed in 2003 in Portland, Oregon, but this three-piece is playing so amazingly tight, as if they are together since a decade. Apart of their outstanding playing skills, they have created a thick and claustrophobic sound, which is rich on variety and expression.
Apart of two tracks, bassplayer Jow Wickstrom is doing the vocals on six of the here included eight songs (plus intro), and his rough and unique singing will surely not appeal to every listener, but for my taste he adds something special to the music. Yes, the music... unbelievable how heavy this sound comes out of my speakers, and a big amount of solid hooklines make sure, that I want to listen to DITCHLIQUOR again and again. Among the bands diverse influences, one can find Black Sabbath, and especially "The Universal Veil" is a masterpiece of Sabbathian-styled heaviness, that turns into a slow part which reminds me to the wall-of-sound from bands like Pelican f.e., and belongs to one of my faves here.
The band also knows to handle a faster pace without losing the massive heaviness as in "MegaloMotherfucker", with its neckbreaking uptempo themes, while "Provoking The Ghost" sounds as if Operator:Generator would jam with High On Fire. But apart of all heavy influences, DITCHLIQUOR are open enough for other inspirations, as they prove with "What Time", which knows to surprise with spaced-out sounds and rap-like vocals. It's always great, when a rock album contains enough variety to keep the listener's interest, and this album is definitely one of it. One of the reasons is guitarist Evan Enge, who's an ambitious player, skillful enough to come up with crushing heavy riffs as well as noisy and psychedelic undertones, but drummer Shawn Davis has to get his credits, too. He plays very dynamic and energetic and knows how to keep the shit together. The entire result is very covincing band and I hope, they will get signed from a supportive label, because this debut should be available for every interested listener.