Let's face it - Metal, as a musical form, is a bit crap. There are so many traps for the aspiring metal band to fall into - the hair, the clothing, the posturing, the silly artwork and the must-have body art. There's also all that singing in a monster voice stuff, and striking serious poses like the guitar solo is burning the fingers. Anyway, I thought that was why Grunge got invented - so that bands could crank up the guitars without putting on any spandex. Sadly tho', Grunge got hijacked by the MTV brigade - all looking for that big hit record with angsty vocals and the distorted guitars. That's why we have to suffer Nickelback these days. Naturally there were a handful of stalwarts who stuck with the original Grunge blueprint of maximum chunk with no added bullshit. A special mention for Dinosaur Jr and The Melvins.
London's own Part Chimp are the closest thing the UK has to Grunge's original manifesto. Let's be clear about this - they are super heavy, inventive, melodic, and original. Thriller is their 4th album, and could easily put them on the map as serious contenders in the world of sludge. There's no bullshit, the vocals are neither cookie-monster nor demonic shrieker, and the riffs are solid enough to build oil-rigs on them. The album kicks off with Trad - possibly the finest track on the album right up front and there's nothing wrong with that (refer to Led Zeppelin II). When you've got a riff like this, why make everyone wait for it? I was humming this bastard all day after I heard it. The album delivers a high standard of mid-tempo riffs and low-slung sludge - winding down for the last couple of tracks with the kind of slow doomy grinds that the Melvins got so right on Bullhead. They have a new approach to the music which is shared by the likes of Tweak Bird or Big Business - metal - but not as we know it, Jim. Even on record everything just sounds REALLY LOUD, and they have a reputation for being deafening live. If that sounds good to you, then check out this record and go see them on their forthcoming tour.