Thursday, 4 September 2014

A Frown Is The Greatest Gift To Give

Now that I’ve dished the psyche dirt on Dreamtime, let’s dive into the sludged-out filth that is new member Fergus Smith’s other band (well, one of them anyway), Frown. You can see where the connection comes from – if Dreamtime’s riffs ratcheted up the tension, dropped a little tone and ingested some Melvins atrocities, we would have The Greatest Gift To Give, Frown’s latest EP. The cover art - what I assume to be a woodcut of a high priestess sitting at the foot of a tree praying, her head cowled by a hooded robe that opens up to show her chest, her candle impaling a skull whilst others lay strewn around her – is also indicative of what is in store. This doom metal is a blast furnace to the face, an underworld chasm of deafening howls, destructive riffs and perforated eardrums. There are moments of respite here though that to me holds added atmosphere – the ruminative close-out of ‘Harpocrates Unborn’ for example, or the almost tribal drums that bring in the thundering ‘Cold Gail That Blows My Lonely Grave’. This track is more of a psych drone number than any before it, whilst closer ‘Offering’ takes the archetypal Black Sabbath notebook and burns it asunder. These guys are all about suffocation, celebrating the Fall, the occult and the bruising effects of heavy metal – but above all else, Frown knows how to rock. Brisbane needs to celebrate these guys more (ask Golden Bats, another local bastion of doom, for how peripheral this genre truly is).

Here is their last EP for a taste...

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