June 16, 2014

Lumbar - The First and Last Days of Unwelcome

Written by Aaron Sullivan.

First a bit of history. The band is made up of three members. The always amazing Mike Scheidt of Yob. The, dare I say, American treasure Tad Doyle of Tad and Brothers of the Sonic Cloth and the music and lyric writer of the album, Aaron Edge, also of Brothers of the Sonic Cloth.

For those familiar with DOOM and all it’s sub-genres I imagine Mr. Scheidt really needs no introduction (for the others, check out the Yob epic "Catharsis", you’ll thank me later). Tad Doyle should be, in my opinion, a household name. Or at least one to fans of Sludge. His band Tad was among the bands coming out of the Pacific Northwest that was changing music. They may have labeled it ‘grunge’, but Tad sounded pretty metallic to me. After you are done with "Catharsis" (you’re welcome) go look up Tad’s song "Grease Box" (again, you’re welcome). For me, Aaron was the one I was unfamiliar with. Shame really, as his struggle is what the whole album hinges on.

Everything that makes up this album comes from his struggle with multiple sclerosis. The name of the band is inspired by the numerous spinal taps he had in order to diagnose his multiple sclerosis. The lyrics speak of his days spent in bed and the pain that he was going through emotionally and physically. This is as an artist should be. Open and honest. Tapping a vein and bleeding it out on wax for the listener. Giving catharsis to not only the artists but perhaps to a few listeners that may be going through struggles of their own.

Musically this is Sludge/DOOM. Heavy guitars that sound as if they are played in mud. Thick bass lines and pounding beats. Mike does his usual vocal excellence. His ability to scream in a way that conveys emotion is something I have never heard anyone even come close to. Powerful yet vulnerable at the same time. The weight of the lyrics are not lost in his interpretation of them. The mix of his and Doyles vocals work well. Mike’s higher register and Doyle’s deep almost chant like vocal go great together. Added in the mix of DOOM are songs like "Day Three" and "Day Four" that are almost ambient or noise.

All in all this is a fantastic record. No doubt the inclusion of Doyle and Mike will help raise the profile of this album. But it should not take away credit in anyway from Aaron. For not only crafting such a great record, but also willing to share his personal struggles with the masses. It takes courage to do that and proves that great art does come from struggle.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

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