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by Chuck Eddy

June 25, 2014

The State of Southern Sludge

by Chuck Eddy  |  June 25, 2014

The last couple of months have proven unusually fruitful in the category of albums by so-called sludge-metal bands – especially the swamp-festering subspecies from the South. In the past decade or so, the most sludge has oozed out of that region, even if Northwesterners the Melvins (in turn presaged by Californians Flipper and Black Flag and New Yorkers the Swans) are generally credited with spawning this plodding and unsightly style back in the ancient '80s. (Unless the real culprits were '80s North Carolina rebel punks Antiseen, which would explain a lot.) At any rate, New Orleans standard-bearers Eyehategod, Down and Crowbar all unleashed new albums in May, followed mere weeks later by fresh taxidermy from Atlanta's Mastodon and Raleigh, N.C.'s Corrosion of Conformity. So this playlist revolves around all of those.

They're supplemented here, though, by yet more sludge-aholic sub-Mason-Dixon roadkill from the past year or two. Savannah, Ga.'s scene — Kylesa, Black Tusk, Baroness — is amply represented. As is North Carolina, with Buzzoven, Weedeater and Loincloth (the latter of whom also call Richmond, Va., home). The Flying Humanoids, from Monroe, La., round out the lineup. A few of these bands have admittedly been heading in a more commercial (Mastodon, Baroness) or more atmospheric (Kylesa) direction in recent times; others have at least one muddy boot in thrash or stoner rock. Still, they're all guaranteed to stink up the place — those Southern cities get really sweaty this time of year. So you might want to open a window.

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