With their upcoming UK tour with Conan fast approaching, its about time my tardy arse got round to reviewing the split release that Chicago doom heavyweights Bongripper put out with sludge-grind filth rangers and Windy City villains Hate. I should have done so already, what with what I’m about to describe and that awesome Limbo-esque artwork, but hey, life got in the way. So here goes.
The solitary Bongripper track, pleasantly entitled ‘Fisting’, is a quite splendid assault from numerous quarters, showing Bongripper to be able to flit comfortably between doom, sludge, grind and punk inside this one twelve minute track. Anyone familiar to the band’s work will know their pedigree but here they mix between the varying styles to great effect. Building up with sounds reminiscent of a cold, dark, dank subway, the bass looms from the shadows and eventually heralds a nice chunky riff. Once they call your bluff as they threaten to speed up, the second time they do so they don’t muck about, heading into a quick blast before returning to the main lick. And if that wasn’t enough, they provide a sumptuous riff around eight minutes in, which itself morphs into a punk jaunt before finally coming to rest. Phenomenal stuff.
Hate aren’t to be overshadowed though, and their presence here proves that sludge-grind seems to be on the up and up. These guys don’t do things by halves, really going full tilt in all ways including the vocalist who really screams himself hoarse here. For the most part it’s fast stuff, following the crusty hardcore punk path with all kinds of despicable noise coming from their instruments. But they too are capable of slowing the pace right down, as the sludgy goodness of ‘Invisible Man’ shows.
Split releases are enjoying a good stint in popularity among lesser known bands and when they’re as good as what’s on offer here, when two bands can truly match each other blow for blow, the results make winners of us all. Now, go catch Bongripper live, because you’ll never have a greater chance to doom out, get stoned or whatever it is you do at shows nowadays to one of its finest exponents at present.
Buy/download ‘Bongripper/Hate’ here (name-your-price)
Stream it below: