Vog - S/T (Shifty Records)
It just hits me and hits me and keeps on hitting me. Ow! Honestly, I’m not that masochistic, but sometimes it really does hurt so good. Music that sounds like a fist. A sloppy drunken fist in the case of Vog. Vog are from Virginia. I recently did a write-up in Decibel on Shifty Records and Shifty sent me all kinds of cool sludge and home-grown doom. I liked most of it. Maybe I was in the mood. Almost every band affiliated with Shifty goes for the gold when it comes to dementia. They walk that extra mile. They give 110%! The Vog album might have impressed me the most though. I like albums that sound out of control. But what I might like even more are albums that never quite lose their shit. They hurtle down a steep hill and they somehow never crash. They have a drunk’s luck. Or maybe they actually do have amazing self-control and only sound as if they are desperate and unclean. They’re faking! Which is fine. However you get to A to B is all good with me. I enjoy the ride. I enjoy the relentlessness of Vog’s album as well. And the way that they combine all my favorite well-worn sounds and genres. The sludge and the punk and the doom and the psychedelia. I love Eyehategod enough that I’ll happily listen to bands who steal from them and leave it at that. Bands that don’t take EHG’s sound any further. It’s a great sound! And it works. It’s heavy and sprawling and it defines freedom through lethargy. Vog want their sludge to be more epic in scope. And the welcome addition of heavy psych divorced from the pain and grit of heavy sludge makes the band stand out. They also go for a leaner up-tempo punk sound at times that could no doubt outrun any member of Eyehategod. The tandem vocals – deep inhuman belch on the one hand and pitbull shrieker on the other – work well. Vog know the power of filth. And the power of riffs that are bigger than a bread box. They get down and dirty and impress you by never once coming up for air.