Tuesday, 19 November 2013

REVIEW: Lumbar - "The First And Last Days Of Unwelcome"

By: Matt Fitton

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 12/11/2013
Label: Southern Lord Recordings

The First and Last Days of Unwelcome cover art


“The First and Last Days of Unwelcome” is just big ol' stick of Doom. If you cut it in half it would not only thank you, but it would actually say 'D-O-O-M' in giant letters down the middle. Killer riffs slower than the expansion of the sun, soaking wet with amp fuzz down tuned to -11. Harrowing and perfect in every single way”


“The First and Last Days of Unwelcome” DD//LP track listing:
1. Day One (05:04)
2. Day Two (02:58)
3. Day Three (02:24)
4. Day Four (02:26)
5. Day Five (02:07)
6. Day Six (05:02)
7. Day Seven (04:45)

The Review:

Lumbar is a Doom expression by three friends from the US Northwest, all of them fairly revered within their sonic circles. A project that consists of Yob's Mike Scheidt, Tad Doyle from Brothers of the Sonic Cloth and Aaron Edge (of one time Himsa). 'The First and Last Days of Unwelcome' is not only a cosmic event of grand proportions (i.e. VERY good), it also serves as a one-off snap shot of a place and time.
Lumbar has unfortunately been sidelined to just a studio project, due to the fact that Edge (who played all the music on the recording) has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and would be unable to play a musical instrument live as a consequence. Sad as this may be, it appears that you cannot keep a good man down and Edge is already formulating a new heavy endeavour in Portland for which he will be providing the vocals. We do, of course, wish him the absolute best. A good way to do this is to convey just how great this album truly is.
'The First and Last Days of Unwelcome' is seven tracks long, and numbered as days. I wish this album actually did last a week, but bucking recent Doom and Sludge trends the 7 tracks amount to 24 minutes of bite-size gold. As much as this noise fiend loves a marathon, I also like more done with less. And there is so much on offer here.
'Day One' is instant satisfaction. Scheidt's classic holler is pure Doom delight, and the music keeps up too. Beautifully morose waves of fuzz wash over you, and you realise that you're in riff country, where the real flavour lives. The bass wobbles, and the drums crash, both of them in a death grip. As if anything else was expected at all.
'Day Two' is another sullen delight. The atmospherics in the background are faint yet intricate, and when the heavy rolls in it does not disappoint. Pretty much void of any hope or light, and you would not want it any other way.
'Day Four' is just rolling crush to begin, like a rolling pin from the left hand of death. And then it becomes all wistful and echoing at the mid-point, which is tremendous. You constantly forget about the relative brevity of these tracks, due to the sheer variation that is on display at times.
Best in show goes to 'Day Six', for just being a big ol' stick of Doom. If you cut it in half it would not only thank you, but it would actually say 'D-O-O-M' in giant letters down the middle. Killer riffs slower than the expansion of the sun, soaking wet with amp fuzz down tuned to -11. Harrowing and perfect in every single way. Edge really outdid himself throughout this thing, and it serves as a fitting testament to his playing if he never manages to commit another Lumbar recording to tape.
This is real Album of the Year contender stuff, in every way. The wax has been put out by the mighty Southern Lord too, and it looks UNREAL. A one-off experience? Time will tell, but if it is then it will only serve to lend to the legend that I am sure it will become. Lumbar lives, and 'The First and Last Days of Unwelcome' could not be more of a welcome spectacle.

“The First and Last Days of Unwelcome” is available digitally here.

Band info: Facebook || Bandcamp

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