Tue 30th January 2018
Fistula are back celebrating 20 years of sludge/doom drudgery with a series of splits, I have two here in my sweaty palms for your consideration. The first featuring Come to Grief track Take me in my Sleep on the A side and Fistula ditty Contusion on the B.
Come to Grief open well with some excellent tone on display, the opening riff leading you into what turns out to be some very Fistula-esque vocal work. Well matched for a split with the old guard, Come to Grief only have a single and an EP released prior to this split although they have been around since 2014. This is heavy, slow, head nodding stuff, the band delivers misery in spades. Not necessarily the more bass heavy doom of some modern acts, they deliver their heaviness through tectonically slow riffs, good tone and a killer vocal. Nothing groundbreaking here but solid nonetheless.
Flip over and it is Fistula’s turn with Contusion, straight away you can tell they are trading blows with Come to Grief with the tone here being quite similar. Again we have a great vocal, a slow doomy riff to nod along to and a foreboding feel to the track, where Fistula differ however is in their distinctly hardcore accents, there is a bit more bounce on this side of the record. Around 3 minutes in Fistula hit you with that bounce and chop the riff up into a low, slow, stop-start beast. It’s great fun and really quite catchy, I find myself throwing this on fairly regularly at the moment.
Onto to the next split where Fistula have teamed up with -(16)- to produce a cover on each side of the 7” with -(16)- covering Killing Joke’s Complications and Fistula offering DEVO’s Mongoloid.
Opening with a decidedly punk take on the riff -(16)- are obviously providing us with a quite different take on the original (as you would expect). The guitars are delightfully chuggy, the vocal huffed through what sounds like an abused payphone, the whole effect very straightforward and lo-fi. One stand out here is the percussion which brings the chorus to bear with some power. It’s a good effort but not one that particularly stands up to too many repeat listens, well delivered but perhaps a little shallow in its composition.
Being partial to DEVO myself I was looking forward to hearing Fistula’s take on one of their better known tracks. I wasn’t disappointed with this effort, they are going at it with some trademark Fistula clout; no prisoners taken, all out frontal assault. The vocal here in particular is great, right at the front of the mix and powerful as ever. There is even a hint of the original's synth to be found somewhere in the background, a good interpretation of a great track here.
So all in all some good stuff to be found amongst these first two splits, nothing too surprising but certainly deserving of the hard earned cash of a devoted fan. Definitely worth checking out what they come up with on future splits in the series.