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The guys from DOPEFIGHT make no secret of their preferences. On the one hand, they love to smoke huge amounts of weed (and are fully aware of the consequences - just take a look at the backcover), and on the other they prefer a heavy tube-driven sludgy sound. Thus, one might perhaps thinks that DOPEFIGHT is a kind of Bongzilla duplicate, but that is not the case. 'Buds', which is the self-financed debut album, is less predictable and unveils a lot of different influences. It is also not just a rehashing of EyeHateGod, but rather a successful attempt to find an own musical path in the world of sludge. Of course, DOPEFIGHT do not reinvent anything new and it is quite obvious that, for example, Karma To Burn or Fudge Tunnel impressed them greatly. But it also shows that DOPEFIGHT do not use the typical sources to forge their aggressive and brute sound.

Equally striking are the doom metal influences, especially Penance come to my mind now and then. And of course the listener has to deal with a strong dose of hardcore punk, even though it is an integral part of sludge. Sometimes DOPEFIGHT take a short excursion into Sleep territory or they show that it is still possible to play hate-ridden heavy music with a wink. For instance, there's the bleating of a sheep at the beginning of 'Babygoatsick' and, later, a banjo provides an unexpected southern flavour.

The brutal vocals of guitarist Owen play a subordinate role in the twelve tracks, which leads to the fact that sometimes the impression arises as if DOPEFIGHT would be an instrumental band. The album's production is refined and powerful so that there's no base for critics. DOPEFIGHT is definitely an enrichment, not only for the sludge scene in the UK, but also on an international level. 'Buds' is a refreshing debut, packed from begining to end with good riffs and ingenious song ideas. It has plenty to offer and as a bonus it will probably kick you ass. As far as it concerns me, I feel well entertained by 'Buds' and it's one of best sludgy debut albums, which have been released in 2010. I look forward to the smoke-filled future of DOPEFIGHT.