Molasses Barge – A Grayer Dawn (album)

Release date: 10th April 2020 ||Genre: Doom||Label: Argonauta Records

I mean, the name is very effective in telling you what to expect from Molasses Barge. It’s huge, fuzzy, slow guitar right off the bat. No messing. In fact, I think I actually smelled weed and whisky as soon as I pressed play.

The mistake many make with this sound is terrible production. Not so this band. The bottom end is incredibly fat and driven, but always under control. Perfectly powerful. The thick paste of Sabbath, Creedence, and Alice In Chains is nicely mulched into something far more sinister. It is old school, yet still entirely relevant, and with a pungent sourness. The single, Control Letting Go (see video below), isn’t the strongest example from A Grayer Dawn, but it’s a good mood-starter.

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The vocals are an absolute peach, on top of the molten bass/guitar combo. Brian Balich can harmonise with best of the classic rock heroes, and at times you might be forgiven for thinking your listening to Tony Martin. Only gruffer and more forelorn. It manages to bring things into territory which is both cleaner and heavier than comparable artists, such as Goatsnake and The Obsessed. It’s probably more similar to Belzebong with power-blues vox added.

Have we heard this before? Pretty much, but this is done very well, and with tonnes of energy. No slouching. In a way, it’s the respect paid to the originators of the sound which makes this indentifiable. Highly recommended for fans of classic/proto doom, open to a modern day polish.

Grade: A-
Slow Dragon

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