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Album Review: SLOMATICS Future Echo Returns

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I was first introduced to the music of Slomatics when I was 17 by a rather drunk Jon Davis of Conan. Considering those doom metal sweethearts' worship of this band it only makes sense. See, if you like Conan for their monstrous riffs but don't understand where it all came from well here you go. Megalithic riffs, seeping forward inch by bloody inch with epic cries running underneath, reminding us of the power of the music… this is what Slomatics deliver on a frighteningly regular basis. This is a band who don't just go for the throat but who force you to revel with them drinking from the sheer volume they invoke. Fuzzed out and face melting, their new record Future Echo Returns is a testament to all that the band has been able to do over the years and a constant reminder that no matter what happens, all that is slow, fuzzy and loud will reign forever. This is a band who don't fuck around. Instead they just let you drown in sound.

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I think what has always gotten me about Slomatics has been their sense of forward motion. The climbing might of the introductory riff on Future Echo Returns sets you up perfectly for all the greatness that is to come. That being said, don't think Slomatics are mere riff freaks. In fact, they use Future Echo Returns as a chance to showcase a bit more of their psychedelic side. While there certainly aren't drawn out experimental moments being demonstrated on Future Echo Returns the band has clearly been studying up on their Hawkwind. They understand that while this music definitely needs to be going somewhere, it is also valid to occasionally take a moment to step back and chill out. Future Eco Returns takes the time to think back to where the music came from and then dives right into the infuriating power that the riff can have. The fuzzed out tones that the band is known for are heavily featured here and you find yourself listening to this album as if through a fog. Of course, that's a key part of the artistic statement and only encourages you to delve further, to try to see through the mist and maybe begin to understand where all of these motherfucking RIFFS are coming from.

It's always funny to me when I write about forgotten gems of the scene like these guys. Other bands pride themselves on having "fat riffs" with the daring ones even claiming that their riffs are "obese". Slomatics don't fuck around with any of that. They don't need to tell you that their riffs are among the biggest in the land, because they fucking are. If they want to decorate them with a Hammond organ (as they do on "Electric Breath") then so be it; because this band is one of the best and they know it. Listening to a band who has nothing to prove is always a good time, even if it means they might not be pushing themselves as hard as they might. In other words, while Future Echo Returns has some development on its predecessors it's largely business as usual. Still, business as usual for Slomatics is much better than most bands will ever do.

Score: 8/10

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