[sic] Magazine

Feral Ohms – Feral Ohms

feral-ohms-album - Copy

Feral Ohms (or Ωhms, if you prefer) are frontman and guitarist Ethan Miller of Comets On Fire fame (and, more recently, Howlin’ Rain infamy), drummer Chris Johnson of Drunk Horse, and bassist Josh Haynes of Nudity. Together, the Oakland trio have a fearsome stage reputation and consequently debuted with a live album on the ever-reliable Castle Face. Those that found that platter too crudely captured and cut (and it was truly crusty), will be pleased to discover the self-titled studio album cleans up well yet loses none of its ferocity in the process. All six tracks from that release are again here present, supplemented too by three new ones that unsurprisingly follow the Feral Ohms template of “all guitar, all of the time” to the letter. Most impressive of these, and splitting the difference between 80s thrash and 70s hair metal, the huge “Living Junkyard” flails around on solos and chorus structures nicked from The Sweet. Stop whatever you’re doing and listen to it right now, obviously.

Elsewhere, Miller sneers, spits and screams like he means it throughout too. His wah-fuelled band are just as urgent and vital as well, dirty 100-mph drums running riot amidst speaker-blown guitars set to total abandon. Always capable of finding another level, these are muscular bruisers that sound like lost proto-metal psych-punk, full throttle biker-fuzz that whips itself into vicious vortexes. Early single “Super Ape”, in particular, still sounds incredible, pounding the boards between heavy classic and head-banging rock and there’s no more energetic a climax to a track pretty much ever. In fact, it’s an example of rock so vintage (and you could pick any other track from the album for the same purpose) that it might risk being a bit cheesy if it weren’t all so super-charged. In reality, if Feral Ohms were actually as vintage as they sound they’d probably have been emblazoned on one of Beavis or Butthead’s shirts by now.

Best track: “Living Junkyard”

~Feral Ohms is released 31st March 2017 via Ethan Miller’s own Silver Current label.~

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