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The Wednesday Sludge

The Wednesday Sludge: Prepare To Have Your Face Melted By SLEUTHFOOT

Posted by on July 26, 2017 at 12:40 am

Almost every week, Nic Huber dissects the heavy riffs of bands — new and old — in The Wednesday Sludge. This week's column spotlights a newcomer to the Arkansas sludge scene.

There isn't too many reasons to have Southern pride anymore, but one thing I obviously love is southern metal. It's all sonic perfection — just in the sense that we typically play more by feel. Southern metal is not pretty. Dimebag Darrell once said it best, "What may sound like a squeaky out of tune fucking irritating violin to someone sounds like the most serene beautiful tone of a fucking saxophone beautifully in tune to the moonlight."

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One of the most underrated scenes in North America is what is coming out of the mountains and forests of Arkansas. Pallbearer is probably the first band that comes to a lot of people's minds, but I personally instantly think of Rwake and vocalist Chris "CT" Terry's other band, Iron Tongue.

Of course, there are a ton of other great bands from a multitude of genres to hail from Arkansas (Evanescence, anyone?) A few weeks back, I was digging around on Bandcamp to find new music when I discovered Sleuthfoot.

The band's self-titled debut album was released independently on July 10, so things are still relatively new for the sludge metallers. Producing heavy blues-driven grooves, Sleuthfoot pulls from their broad musical influences (Melvins, Primus, Weedeater, Acid Bath, et al.) together in a solid cohesion that can only be found in southern metal.

When I approached the band on Facebook, the guys quickly put together a one-sheet like we were still in the '80s. It was an approach I have personally never encountered, so, naturally, I dig that these dudes are old school — or maybe just old. Either way, the band's debut shows great promise.

Sleuthfoot

Following a drug-induced sample which lets the listener know real quick what kind of experience they are about to delve into, the album's opener, "The Filth & The Rotten," begins like a swift punch in the throat. "American Dreamzzz" sinks the quartet into a fat groove, à la Church of Misery, and proves just how serious this band takes whiskey, weed and heavy riffs. "Strange Ones" sends Sleuthfoot on a genre-bending trip which hearkens back to the glory days of Acid Bath with vocalist Joe Gillis half-rapping, half-screaming, the lyrics on top of a melodic, yet doomy, rock riff.

My favorite track at the moment is "The Mountain," which, musically, reminds me of Stoned Jesus and a play on Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" lick. I feel like these guys are also into a lot of proto metal, but I could be wrong. The album's closer, "The Escapist," begins with a creepy sample from Happiness, a 1998 dramedy starring Jon Lovitz and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The song is by far the slowest and heaviest on the self-titled, with Gillis' emotional lyrics providing catharsis to those who've seen some shit and lived through it.

According to the band's one-sheet, Sleuthfoot is currently seeking out gigs around the Memphis, Little Rock and surrounding areas. "Hopefully we will pick up momentum to do at least a mini tour soon. We would really like to break into the Little Rock scene."

Pallbearer, let these cats open for you!

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