Opener 'Sun Doesn't Rise' sets out their stall, an ambitious nine minute epic that begins with some subtle Eastern orchestration and a simple but effective bassline , building over a good two minutes with an array of eerie vocal chants and tribal drumming patterns, and eventually explodes into a galloping stoner rock monster.Straight away, the band's talent as musicians is evident, switching between Lizaveta -esque staccato jazz rock riffing to moments of sheer metallic bombast.'Hyperion' is all High On Fire smoke and bluster, but with an obtuse approach to it's riffing that lifts it beyond a mere Open-E workout, while 'As The Crow Flies' takes a more melodic route,with some clever use of bongos, and a great bit of bass playing from Paul Wilson.Drummer Javaud Habibi acquits himself remarkably, handling the rhythmic shifts of the songs with ease and style.
('Something in Farsi') is a further exploration of the band's world music influences, an instrumental diversion that breaks up the EP nicely, without falling into the trap of being just a token 'eastern moment' with it's complex instrumentation fitting into the context of the band's sound very well.Closer 'Shadows' meanwhile is a wonderful blend of post rock sounds and the band's off the wall sonic approach, and one which bookends the EP nicely.
For the most part then, good stuff, but it's not perfect.Chief offender is the vocals , which sound somewhat strained in places and underproduced in others, and one can't help but feel that some more time could have gone into layering and effects, in particular an extra bit of reverb.Frontman Omar Aborida is clearly capable of composing a catchy vocal line, but the recording here doesn't do him any justice, and at times his voice sits on an irritating flat bed of silence, which sits uneasily among the bands rich compositions.There is also times when the bass could be lowered just a tad in songs, which is no slight against Wilson, or his clear talent, but there are moments on 'As The Crow Flies' when the bottom end becomes somewhat overpowering, to the detriment of Aborida's excellent riffwriting and it sits just a bit too high in the mix for my taste.On the plus side, the drums sound clear and sharp, and by and large the production is competent, and satisfying, even if the mastering can be found lacking at times.
On the whole though , this is a mightily impressive debut, and a remarkable testament to the musicianship and songwriting prowess of these Glaswegian shredders,And it has to be said,that on five tracks here, Low Sonic Drift display more imagination, talent and flair than some bands display their entire careers.If they're this good now,a full length is a mouthwatering prospect.One to watch.
For fans of : Tool, High On Fire, Yakuza, Stinking Lizaveta, The Sword,Black Tusk
Listen here: http://lowsonicdrift.bandcamp.
Stephen O ' Connor, email@example.com