Tuesday 23 August 2022

Robust Split Series 1: #5 - Bomg/BongBongBeerWizards

Labels: Robustfellow Prods

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 24 Dec 2021


1. Bomg - Demagnetized

2. Bomg - Ixian Bore

3. BongBongBeerWizards - Melothrone

4. BongBongBeerWizards - Journey

5. BongBongBeerWizards - Meathead

6. BongBongBeerWizards - Summoning

I didn't realise it had been over a month since I reviewed number four in the Robust Split Series (Keepleer 18/Yanomamo). This is the fifth and final split tape in the series from Ukrainian label Robustfellow Prods, which brought together five stoner/doom bands from Ukraine and matched them alongside five similar bands from different corners of the world. This split features Bomg alongside Germany's BongBongBeerWizards. Bomg have been playing music together now for over a decade, with two full-lengths, an EP and two other splits to their name prior to this one. BongBongBeerWizards formed in 2017 and have released two full-lengths and an EP as well as their contribution here.

Looking back through the series, Bomg contribute the longest song of them all as one of their two songs here but before we get to that, there’s the small matter of their opener ‘Demagnetized’, which itself weighs in at nearly ten minutes. As with BongBongBeerWizards, Bomg are another new band to me, which has been a feature of this series. ‘Demagnetized’ begins as an instrumental jam that builds in volume and all kinds of weirdness. It’s a lot more bluesy/jazz-like, with some amazing guitar effects thrown in as well. At times it sounds like the members of Bomg are all playing different songs, but if you settle in and just listen it begins to make sense.

After that strangely soothing and hypnotic opener, it’s time for the ‘Ixian Bore’, which stretches to nearly twenty minutes and is immediately much heavier than ‘Demagnetized’, thanks to the low, rumbling bass. Again, it sounds like a semi-improv jam but that’s fine, as it suits Bomg’s stoner/doom vibe perfectly. It’s filled with spoken-word samples that sound like they’ve been put through some kind of effects as well. It all adds to the overall feeling of otherworldliness you get from Bomg’s music.

As I mentioned above, BongBongBeerWizards are another unknown prospect and whereas the former were more unpredictable in approach, the latter are heavier, with a formula that sits further into the sludge camp on opener ‘Melothrone’. The vocals cry out as if they were delivered by somebody whose in possession of an all-knowing prophecy, while around them the music spells out a hellish fate. ‘Journey’ is much more upbeat sounding, with it’s ambient atmosphere and clean singing lifting the mood with plenty of cinematic tones.

That upbeat mood is snatched away from you somewhat by saxophone tones that sound like distressed whale song. I guess that’s not totally left field given BBBW’s own enthusiasm for experimentation. The vocals are used more sparingly here and in their place, you’re left with truly rumbling bass, crawling percussion and guitar work that again invokes those whales. BBBW’s final song ‘Summoning’ is their longest at just over ten-minutes long and in my semi-sleepy state, it threatens to send me to the land of nightmares. It’s as chilling as it is ritualistic. It’s very hypnotic, which is definitely a staple trait of any decent stoner/doom band in my opinion and despite it’s sloth-like tempo, doesn’t feel like a ten minute song,. 

What a way to end this first split series from Robustfellow. Both Bomg and BongBongBeerWizards are the perfect pairing in terms of experimentation and just downright heaviness. They deserve much more airtime, as do the other eight participants here. This review series has been a really fun journey and one that I’ll be revisiting over and over again. 

You can stream and purchase the entire series digitally below, where it's also available as a five tape set, or as individual tape (both while stocks last):-

Bomg - https://www.facebook.com/BOMGband

BongBongBeerWizards - https://www.facebook.com/bongbongbeerwizards/

Robustfellow Prods - https://www.facebook.com/RobustfellowProds

No comments:

Post a Comment