Naam, Kingdom

Anthony Mark Happel

Naam, Kingdom [Tee Pee Records]

By Anthony Mark Happel

This is a three-song mega-EP (it clocks in at 23:11) by another in a long line of seriously heavy-duty bands on Tee Pee. Lots of people want to refer to anything that sounds remotely like this as “stoner rock,” and while some part of that label may be applicable, that fallback position is over a decade out of vogue, and really just a cop-out.

In the case of Naam, their rather thick, quasi-boogie rock does recall late 60s/early 70s psychedelic rock along the lines of Blue Cheer, but they mess with the songs enough to wriggle out of that straightjacket a few times.

There’s a nice variance in tempo on the first song, “Skyling Slip,” as they wend around the song in swirls of sludge and goo. Their oeuvre is slightly sleazy, but not sloppy, with most of the parts staying relatively under control, as the guitars and vocals melt in and out of the mix. On the first two tracks they extend the principle of what a band like Wolfmother is doing, for example, on a far less commercial stage, and obviously not as slickly packaged. The nearly 12-minute long title track extends the sensibilities of a band like the Black Angels even further, with its earthy, throbbing bass lines and echoey, buzzy vocals hanging in the open space. Next time out they could stand to be even more expansive and experimental, but, all in all, this is a ride worth taking.

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