Monday, October 15, 2012

Reviews: Twingiant "Mass Driver"

By: Garviel Loken

Dense, warm, and full of sheer power, the debut full length by this Phoenix outfit is a real gem of sludge metal, but so much more as well. With a healthy swagger and a plethora of musical ideas, "Mass Driver" saunters out of the speakers as if it were ripping a hole through space and time from some alternate dimension. The sounds command you to pay attention and to join the trip down the proverbial rabbit hole. Having seen these guys use the term "space hobo" in relation to their music, this listener must agree that those words are an apt fit for the band. It conjures up the image of galactic hitchhikers that jump from ship to ship, maybe looking for home or just a new place to crash. What can be better than that?

Twingiant is certainly the type of band that you just can't cram into one category. Though some listeners will undoubtedly compare them to The Melvins or Clutch right off the bat, that would be doing them a huge injustice. Sure they have some quirky and bluesy rock elements in their songs, but they take a fresh turn on that style by amping up the heaviness and pairing it with some blast beats here and there, especially on Concrete Home. Furthermore, there are some country licks to be found along with doom, death metal, melodic Pink Floyd like passages, and most profoundly of all: grunge. We're not talking about Nirvana here folks, but the original grunge sound of artists such as Mudhoney or The Screaming Trees (listen to the end of Awake in the Hull.)

Confidently blending these ingredients together, Twingiant has baked up one mean 180 gram record that sounds great. The recording is very organic and live sounding. You hear a band as it should be heard, without a lot of filters, editing, or other studio tricks. Raw and distorted throughout much of the running time, there are some more polished moments that shine and show off the versatility that Twingiant is capable of. The best example of this would be the intro track Abduction, which is two and a half minutes of spacey rock that is effective at setting the mood for the rest of the album.

If you dig the heavier side of things, then be sure to enjoy Burning Through or Pale Blue Dot, two songs which roar and scour at maximum volume. The vocals are clad in iron, ring like brass and definitely sound like they are being delivered by a giant. The guitars are thick and covered with just the right layer of fuzz, never sounding weak or out of place. The bass rumbles appropriately as it joins with the thunderous rhythms of the drums, providing that all important foundation needed to build good songs upon.

For a debut album, "Mass Driver" is decidedly impressive and stands on unique ground in the Arizona scene. Judging by the progressions and ideas it contains, Twingiant is obviously a band that constantly evolves without losing their core sound. Definately a band to watch and see what great new tunes they come up with in the future. Twingiant will be performing at the first day of the Southwest Terror Fest (October 19th) at The Rock in Tucson, so come down and get on the space hobo train. You can purchase the album on vinyl, CD, or digitally through their Bandcamp page.

Final Score: 9/10

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