Mon 6th October 2014
Holy Roar are a label that pride themselves on quality, indeed they've been one of those labels you can kind of rely on for presenting forward-thinking and somewhat zeitgeist-y sounds. They were ahead of the curve in their early days, pushing the likes of Rolo Tomassi and others towards an upward trajectory.
The signing of Ohhms is a rarity for the label, having only previously signed the excellent Throats through the band simply sending them their music, Ohhms bring the second.
Why then, have they done this? From the first five minutes of the 18-minute Bad Seeds you can twig why. With the press attached, Harvey Milk are mentioned, this is perhaps the most apt comparison. Huge in sound and scope, Ohhms have a weird, cathartic fixation on volume and their vocalist has an off-key caterwaul that follows the same path as Creston Spire's no-care moans minus the dry cracking and hoarse hack.
Ohhms also reach down into the ever-productive well of tar that is doom. At points the grooves seem so thick you wonder if they'll manage to break free, like light unable to break a jet-black object's surface.
They can turn their hand to post metal calm too, witness the slow burn towards the end of the same track before the track descends gradually to a stop in a measured, calculated way.
This gives way to the fervent Rise of the Herbivore which appears to be a righteous call to vegetarianism and political protest, the simple but driving shouts of 'Stop eating animals/Stop voting Nationals' is plain and effective in its blunt delivery. Perhaps the Bloom of the album title refers to the bloom of ideas and the growth of change. One can hope.
A fascinating and self-assured work, Ohhms are touring this in the UK in late October, be there.