Monday, October 1, 2012

Reviews: Ladybird "Demo EP"

By: Garviel Loken

Sporting more fuzz than a yeti in the mountains, Ladybird's demo offering is a hefty slab of lo-fi doom that worships at the temple of drone. Consisting of three tracks, the demo delivers over twenty-six minutes of ponderous riffs that surf the audio void while buzzing like a thousand stoned bees singing a Black Sabbath tune underwater. Hands down, this is perfect music for sitting back and tuning out the world for awhile.

Beginning with Ontological Physicalism, Ladybird lays down a cacophonous pattern of sloth-like dirges backed up with tight rhythmic pulses that pull in the listener with their hypnotic simplicity. Indeed, heavy repetition is the name of the game. Ladybird is adept at riding one riff for minutes at a time without ending up a bore; on the contrary, they bring a genuine vibe and feel to their material that keeps it interesting.

The second track, Gone Away, is also the one that stands out most on the demo. The main riff is a discordant, snarling beast that complements the raw vocals and laborious tempo as it slithers on for about six minutes, leaving a trail of ashen sludge behind it. The most interesting part about this song is the change that occurs after those six minutes: the music transforms from doom to blues. Everything cuts out and the guitar comes back in clean tone without fuzz or distortion and then proceeds to noodle away on a cool little blues lick for a bit. Eventually joined by the drums, this interlude of sorts goes into jam session mode and really rocks out, but just for a moment.

Lastly on the demo we come to the song Slow, an aptly named piece of music if there ever was one. Opening with a blast of pure noise, the track belches out a groovy and Clutch like beginning that is ironically faster than anything else previously heard on this recording. Never fear, the drone returns soon enough in the latter half of the song, with all distortion turned up past eleven, more than justifying the song's claim to it's title. Descending to an almost torturous pace, the music becomes more and more noise ridden until it goes out with one last burst of static.

Being a demo recording, it is difficult to point a finger at Ladybird and pass all kinds of judgments on them. What a demo should do for a band is show promise for the future, and Ladybird has certainly done so with this three song release. They can create a distorted sonic landscape very well and populate it with memorable riffs and deafening noise. The bluesy part in Gone Away is a very cool and delightful contrast to the noise and doom that makes up the majority of the songs, so hopefully the band will elaborate on such moments in their future musical output.

Final Score: 8/10

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