Prom – EP
8.18.22 by Matty McPherson
Is there a sludge energy (sludgenergy?) in the air? Back in April at the Wednesday gig, the local bar had two alternate local bands. The house cup went with flying colors to Prom’s simple “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; also don’t overdub it too” approach to sludge and fuzz. Timeless atmospherics that can translate to a lo-fi excursion. Their C16 isn’t focused on epic though. 4 tracks of equal riff-driven proportion, two to each side.
It’s a tenacious spot for the quartet. A 7″ would not quite have spotlit the quartet’s lockstep basement jamming. Side A’s Mars & Fauna are not exactly a two part epic, but their intrinsic flow into each other helps set a sense of expectations. Mars’ lurches while Fauna rains down a crashing kick drum and cymbal refrain. Passion and technique meeting through the hiss and leaving a restless sense as the tape jumps over.
Max’s feedback laden riff, driven by a boomed out drum beat–in monitor mix mode. It gives an uncanny sense the sound is machine driven, as sludge guitars ponder a desolate waste. Then the two enter a LOUD blast and fury–eclipsing the mix into crisp territories. Ruiner is the biggest noise rocker–the sole track to feature vocals of an individual hashing and lashing out gurgling grievances and blood shot frustration. A prevalent sense of dread washes the first half, until it pivots into classic doom metal crests and waves. In the final minute, there’s another pivot into SST-style hardcore, as if it really can rise about the narrator’s woes; of course a return into Prom’s fuzzsludge just is too good too pass up for that final chorus and outro.
The band stuck around and sold tapes from their merch table for $5 a piece. They only pressed 50 and their sparse Bandcamp suggests it is currently sold out. San Diego music of this caliber is few and far between. It’s akin to panhandlings for diamonds in the rough without a map, so I’d be mighty fascinated if they make another pressing for online buyers.