Sunday 10 April 2022

Robust Split Series - Season 1: #3 - One Magic Megawatt/Silver Gallery

Labels: Robustfellow Prods

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 24 Dec 2021


1. One Magic Megawatt - Psychoblues

2. One Magic Megawatt - End Of Season

3. One Magic Megawatt - Fuckdub

4. Silver Gallery - Sagawa Lunch

5. Silver Gallery - Head Will Roll

6. Silver Gallery - On My Way

7. Silver Gallery - My Life

8. Silver Gallery - Burning Soul

The Sunday afternoon lull is over. It's time for the third instalment of my mini review series focusing on the five tape split box set from Ukrainian label Robustfellow Prods. The idea of this set was to put five Ukrainian sludge/doom bands on tape alongside five bands from other countries. The first two I reviewed featured Kasu Weri (with Taser from Finland) and Celophys (with Radian from the USA). This one features One Magic Megawatt and Silver Gallery (of France). Each of the tapes have been limited to 75 copies and there was also a special run of 42 box sets featuring all five. There are still copies of each for sale via Robustfellow's bandcamp page, but they're going down all the time so if you like what you read/hear, grab them while you can!

As with three of the four bands I’ve already written about during this series, it’s the first time I’ve heard both One Magic Megawatt and Silver Gallery. OMM, as I’m going to refer to them from now, provide three tracks on their side of this split and they’re long, especially opener ‘Psychoblues’. This quartet definitely has their own identity because alongside the stoner riffs, percussion and clean/harsh vocals, there’s a harmonica and trombone adding some extra blues flavour. As if those riffs weren’t bluesy enough!

OOM are a lot more progressive than I was initially expecting. I know the term is used a lot nowadays (especially by me) but it’s still relevant as the psych sounds of ‘End Of Season’ swirl out from the speakers. Initially, it’s a very easy-listening song but the further in you get during the first two+ minutes, the more bass-heavy it gets. Ritualistic at times, it’s one for appreciating without distraction or interruption. It’s latter half is more anthemic and musical, but don’t be fooled, it’s also stark and dense as well. The vocals employed here are more akin to those used in depressive black metal for a time too.

As if the two songs above weren’t enough to tempt you in, OMM’s last song ‘Fuckdub” is basically a cross between improv blues rock and some crazy drugged up hoedown in the Deep South (to be honest both of those examples are interchangeable). There is a bit of Eyehategod influence coming through here for sure, though it’s more their groove than their caustic sludge that permeates the song. This has been some of the most out-there stoner I’ve heard.

Next up, Silver Gallery with five songs. As their opener ’Sagawa Lunch’ begins, there’s a much more straightforward sound going on, with thicker riffs and plenty of rumbling bass. More mesmeric and repetitive, the spoken word vocals seem more menacing and even slightly sleazy to these ears. I’m fine with sleazy though when it comes to heavy rock and so far Silver Gallery have me glued to the speakers. There’s more urgency in their sound (if not in their tempo, which is still slow), especially on ‘Head Will Roll’. They tell a story with the lyrics and it’s the first time you catch a glimpse of their disgustingly harsh, screechy growls. They turn this release on it’s head in the finest way. 

‘On My Way’ is such a flowing song that you can easily lose yourself in it. The groove is real here and the drums add to it immensely, while the vocals are slightly more distant yet still harsh. The feedback that rings out at the end never stops ringing in your ears as you’re led into Silver Gallery’s penultimate beast ‘My Life’. Once again, if repetition in doom/sludge is your thing, then there’s plenty of it here but there’s also some really killer lead work as well. Fully gone by this point are the sleazy spoken vocals, as they give way to those roared/growled ones I mentioned above. They’re used sparingly though in favour of letting the instrumentation breath. 

It’s left to ‘Burning Soul’ to close out both Silver Gallery’s side and also the split as a whole, and it does it brilliantly. Just crushing heavy doom extremity with very adept musicianship. Somehow it’s super catchy as well, mainly due to the melody hiding within the riffs. Getting faster in tempo and denser in musical layers, the ending comes far too soon. Again, another great musical find by Robustfellow. Silver Gallery have certainly left their mark on me.

Overall, this split is a pretty unique one. One Magic Megawatt might be a head-scratcher for some but their avant-garde, bluesy stoner is an experience that’s well worth the effort. Silver Gallery on the flip side are much more gung-ho, with heavier everything. Enjoy!

You can stream all of the tracks from this split, as well as from the set via Robustfellow's bandcamp page below:-

All five splits are available digitally and on tape while stocks last there too,

One Magic Megawatt -

Silver Gallery -

Robustfellow Prods -

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