Saturday 25 May 2013

Thinning The Herd - Freedom From The Known - Review


Thinning The Herd
Freedom From The Known

St.Marks Records
May 9 2013

The band: 

Gavin - guitar, vocals
Wes - bass
Rick - drums

The songs: 

1. Never Wanted 03:44
2. Dr. Reed 04:28
3. Sludge 05:59
4. Buildings 05:29 

5. Rabbits 05:07
6. Bloodfire 03:55
7. Dying Star 03:45
8. Gaikatt Mountain 04:15
9. Path Of Gold 03:51
10. In Front Of Me 03:16

Okay y'all! If Motörhead ever mated with psychedelica and good ole rock'n'roll their spawn would be NYC's Thinning The Herd. Opening track Never Wanted starts off in classic Motörhead fashion until the Gavin starts to sing. All of a sudden I'm caught in a whirlwind of punkish attitudes with a Lemmyesque bass line and the onslaught of a bulldozer running amok behind the drum kit. The band definitely got my attention from the word go and they never let go until the album is over. This is a beast, you hear!

Dr. Reed follows and after a sampled intro the band drops to sludge mode until they switch gear and slays it. Weaving back and forth between tempos it's like being in the epicenter of a tornado...I imagine! Sludge definitely lives up to it's name as it is dragging me through dirt, misery and filth being nasty as hell. Gavin is a beast on the guitar producing some cool solos. Not only that he plays whatever he wants to great aplomb with a tigh-ass rhythm section backing him up. Just check out Buildings and you know what I mean. That's one of my favourite tracks on Freedom From The Known and it reminds me so much Virginia's King Giant. Steam rolling like a rabid juggernaut Thinning The Herd means business relentlessly crushing me to dust. Fantastic!

On Rabbits they slow things down and go psychedelic. This is a trippy track where the band jam out a lot while still holding on to the heaviness they so easily bring out. A perfect catharsis if you like because personally I feel cleansed and invigorated after listening to it. Bloodfire sees a return to their punk roots but halfway through there's a switch to prog, well just about. However that works great as the band really steps out of their box and excel in abundance. The prog tendencies continues on Dying Star sort of, where they mix it up with sludge and the end result is pretty cool.

Gaikatt Mountain sees the tempo brought down even further allowing sludge to dominate and hey, it's great especially Gavin's solos! I said it earlier but I have to say it again, the guy is a fantastic guitar player. Along with Buildings my other favourite track is Path Of Gold. It's the only instrumental song on the album where their psychedelic leanings are brought back in full force. It's a beautiful song where the band goes all out on the trippiness and musical adventures, really expanding their boundaries. Awesome! The last track In Front Of Me sees Thinning The Herd go out with a bang. Again it's another song that reminds me of King Giant especially in the vocal department but also in the way the song is presented.

What else can be said about Thinning The Herd and their latest release Freedom From The Known? Well, first of all go get yourself a copy of it because it's a fantastic album that deserves recognition. The way the band mixes their influences with their own ideas is extremely refreshing especially their total fearlessness in seeking new pathways regardless the outcome. Secondly the musiciansship is way above par. I've already lauded frontman Gavin but the rhythm section of Wes on bass guitar and Rick on drums deserves much credit as well. Apart from keeping it all together the also venture off on jam escapades which further enhances the huge sense of freedom within the band. Ignore Thinning The Herd at your peril because they will come to pound some sense into your head if you don't.

Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Earsplit PR for sending a copy to review.

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