Formed way back in the mists of 2008, Oh How It Ended hail from London, Ontario, and 'Welcome To Brown Rock' is their sophomore album, and comes courtesy of the band's friend and producer Rainer Weichmann.And, suffice to say,it's an odd one, at least on first inspection.A bizarre, tongue in cheek blend of diesel chugging stoner, downtuned, almost industrial grooves , and the odd prog lick, it's an odd little record, and one on first inspection that is occasionally hard to get around.
Persevere though, and you'll find a small treasure of groove laden ditties, with a hard nosed approach to their swampy miasma that recalls the likes of Scissorfight,and even in places the more restrained moments of Southern Dirtbags Maylene and The Sons Of Disaster.Opener 'Everglades' roars into view all Unida style sunshine ,tits and smoke riffing, before 'Great Northern Raid' slaps the taste right out of your pretty mouth with an awesome boogie riff and a snarling , snappy vocal line that just screams 'REDNECK NUTTING YOU IN THE TEETH IN A CROWDED BAR'. The chilled groove , oddly etheral guitar and lilting vocals of 'Old Man Jenkins' makes a nice change of pace, while 'Wolves Of War' and 'Butterfly Man' are both vicious , gut punch rockers, the latter a dirgy, Crowbar esque number that one can imagine kicking a huge amount of ass live.As would 'Touring The Sun', with it's colossal riff and even more colossal hook.
Sadly, it's not all this good though ,and there a couple of tracks that miss the mark somewhat.'Gold Plated Rhinoceri', with it's laid back funk tinged sound, and overwrought chorus and bizarre ode to Rihanna's 'umbrella', plods along without much sense of purpose, while 'Thieves and Djentlemen' is disappointingly not an ode to Meshuggah and seven string guitars, but a rather boring prog ballad, which sits uneasily with the shit kicking aggression of most of the material on here.It also has to be said that the vocals in places are quite flat, and one feels that singer ' Minnesota' fares best when dealing with the heavier material on offer,as opposed to some of the cleaner passages.
Overall, it's a mixed bag of an album, but still one worth dipping into, and for the most part quite enjoyable.The band are quite clearly talented musicians , and it is refreshing to hear a stoner band not resort to the usual cliches all the time.However, as an album as a whole, 'Welcome To Brown Rock' lacks cohesion at times.Fun, but flawed.
For fans of : Scissorfight, Hurt, , The Workhorse Movement, Alabama Thunderpussy
Stephen David O ' Connor