"The Monk and the Mechanical Mollusk" (Self-released; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I fell in love with Sloth Wampa's "The Monk and the Mechanical Mollusk" almost instantly when the first track, "Purification Ritual," began its attempt to destroy my stereo speakers. It's a plodding, bass-rumbling track that stomps along like Godzilla making a path to Tokyo. It's all stoner guitars, snail-paced, brutally heavy, and so atmospheric you can almost see the music. And, if there's any doubt that this is stoner rock, just take a listen to track #2, "Accept Your Fate," the only track with anything even resembling vocals, in this case various samples of dialogue including the oft-repeated phrase "Fire up a bowl and accept your fate."

There is music out there that makes you want to stand and rage and pump your fist and there is music that makes you just want to sit back and let it overtake you, creating worlds and emotions and even physical reactions. Sloth Wampa's "The Monk and the Mechanical Mollusk" is that second type of music. It's wild and weird and somehow insanely comforting. On their website, the band states: "Sloth Wampa is instrumental Stoner-Doom: sometimes heavy sludge, other times Mellow and Trippy." That's a pretty damn good description.

Sadly, there are only five tracks on this EP but the good news is that running time is still almost thirty minutes. With the title track running just over seven minutes and two others at well over five minutes, you still get plenty of music here ... enough, in fact, to take you to another world.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2021 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.