Wed 11th February 2009
Fact 1: Grimpen Mire was the fictional death bog featured in Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel 'Hound Of The Baskervilles'. Fact 2: Grimpen Mire are blackened ear candy for any worshipper of real heavy metal - I've not stopped listening to this since I downloaded it. This is what I love most about reviewing, when you hear a new band and they simply blow you away. GM (Jim Goad – guitar and vocals, Paul Van Linden – bass and vocals, Ian Davis – drums) are a Midlands power trio (formed in 2007) that absorb all the best elements of sludge and crust punk and doom metal and secrete a gorgeous and quite unique sound that is partially reminiscent of the legendary and exalted Amebix at their peak. Recorded towards the end of 2008, this is a thrillingly heavy and forcefully rocking four track EP that clocks in at just over twenty three minutes.
Opening track 'Crawl To Cold Earth' is a powerful flexing of muscles, a turgid blast through the arcane laws of sludgeonomics that bellows and gallops like a real man's metal song. The tempo is brisk at the start and the down tuned guitar and bass growl and rumble along on a simple but exceedingly well executed riff. GM slip in several tempo changes which gives the song a real dynamic fullness. The main vocalist has a throaty Lemmy –like quality and this lends GM a raw, dirty and very British punk-metal sound. Second track 'Fore Doomed' is a doom-stacked slice of electrified misery that is at once both brutalising and invigorating. GM seem to be adept at playing music that is very heavy and uncompromising yet also insanely catchy, very like what Unearthly Trance brilliantly manage to do on 'Electrocution'.
'Grimpen Mire Part I' shows off Jim Goad's talent for writing delicious and inventive guitar lines. This young bespectacled man really is an excellent guitarist, his playing invokes both delicate subtlety and blinding use of effects plus sustained attack and aggression, and he has an excellent ear for stringing notes together that make them stick in your musical memory long after the song has finished. Closing track 'Grimpen Mire Part II' (all the lyrics are based on the 'Baskerville' concept) is a brontosaurus heavy plod of slow-cooked doom casserole. We've all heard this kind of stuff before, but GM really pull it off with impressive aplomb.
For me, there is something very exciting about these tracks, a kind of timeless quality that reminds me of classic old school doom rock aesthetics mixed with the UK's fine tradition of crusty punk. It's Saint Vitus and Black Sabbath and Motorhead and Neurosis and Antisect and Amebix yet none of these bands too – something fresh and new. GM's musicianship is flawless and inspiring and the overall feel is of a band who could execute a very great album indeed if given the money and the time. I urge a decent record label to do just that, and I urge thee to download the EP free at myspace. Best thing I've heard for ages.
Used with kind permission from The Sleeping Shaman.