Friday, 27 April 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Boss Keloid, "Melted on the Inch"

By: John Reppion

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 27/04/2018
Label: Holy Roar Records

Melted on the Inch" is going to be huge, and deservedly so.

“Melted on the Inch“” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Chronosiam
2. Tarku Shavel
3. Peykruve
4. Jromalih
5. Lokannok
6. Griffonbrass

The Review:

It's April 2018, Wigan's very own Prog Sludgers Boss Keloid are back with album number four, "Melted on the Inch", and it might just be "the big one". Do heavy bands cross over into mainstream success in the twenty-teens? If so, what does that even look like? I have no idea, but whatever form that takes, that's surely what's about to happen to Boss Keloid. Where reviewers of previous outings have drawn comparisons to the likes of Iron MonkeyClutch, and Mastodon, "Melted on the Inch" has much more of a straight-up rock influence, with a dynamic range to match.

Chronosiam”’s gentle proggy intro breaks into a super-chunky riff,  with Alex Hurst's powerful vocals pushed to the fore (as they are throughout the record). By turns triumphant, heavy, melodic, and atmospheric, it's the perfect opener.

In the next track we get our first bit of newest member Matt Milne’s keyboards – a subtle touch of 60s inspired prog organ-work.“Tarku Shovel” starts out with more than a hint of the 90s about it, seeming at first like a kind of Soundgarden meets Down type affair, with Hurst going full Anselmo for the sludgified chorus. The song’s final two minute movement though – too long to be just an outro – is the first real taste of the different territory Boss Keloid are venturing into with "Melted on the Inch", sounding not unlike a more laid back Baroness.

“Peycruve”’s sneaky, cheeky, almost jazzy beginnings would not sound out of place on Crime in Choir's 2004 album "The Hoop"; Arands and (Adam) Swarbrick’s rhythm section locked in as tight as anything, and with some fantastic guitar work from Paul Swarbrick throughout. Again we get the light and darkness – the contrast between the heaviness of one passage and the mildness of the next. The oft cited King Crimson influence comes to the fore at a pivotal moment, only to be swallowed by a wave of heaviness once again.

From Tribal Tiki Lounge percussive beginnings “Jromalih" becomes one of the more straight forward, verse/chorus/verse, tracks on the album. It also has some of the biggest riffs, however, and works very, very well indeed. "Lokannok"'s wonky synth intro leads us into a track with a pretty similar arrangement (albeit with more prominent and intrinsic keyboards), but which is no less effective. If I say that, at times, it (and other parts of the album) sounds a bit like Neurosis doing a Pearl Jam cover that might put people off. So I probably shouldn’t say that.

Finally, “Griffonbrass” feels like the perfect counterpart to the album opener, so that the pair bookend the record nicely. This latter showcasing more or less the full range of styles and influences covered across "Melted on the Inch".

"Melted on the Inch" is a really polished sounding record and, if I’m perfectly honest, then I think it might be a little bit too polished. The way the very dry vocals are pushed right to the front of the mix, and the keyboards pushed to the very back doesn’t quite sound right to me. I don’t feel like it sounds as massive as it could or should. But who gives a fuck what I think? Kerrang and Metal Hammer already love Boss Keloid, and they’re currently in The Guardian’s Top 40 Tracks for April playlist. "Melted on the Inch" is going to be huge, and deservedly so.

“Melted on the Inch” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook