[sic] Magazine

GHXST – Gloom EP

On the third and final EP in their fantastic Nowhere trilogy, Brooklyn doom-grunge band GHXST now seem, ironically enough, to be down to being a two-piece. Perhaps as a result of losing a member, Gloom’s six tracks dial down some of its predecessor records’ most leaden riffs and thrusting aggression, yet the band have lost none of the darkness and, more crucially, edge that has come to be their calling card. While impressively fuzzy pedals and heavy guitars continue to do the dirty work (a trait that goes back to their killer debut LP), GHXST’s coolest attribute however has always been noise-rocking/no-waving singer Shelley X and her magnificently disinterested vocal and so it remains on Gloom.

A tour of modern Americana’s star-strewn badlands through to its greasy, neon-lit back alleys, the EP starts with a stupefied stumble through rocky prairie vistas, whip-crack snares and buzz-saw drones playing out over a drizzle of atmospheric guitar moods and static thick as molasses. GHXST’s trademark distorto-rock then crunches in on EP highlight “Ocean Is A Desert”, its similarly brooding palette getting the neck popping with a blackened blues groove so compelling that once again you’re left wondering how this band aren’t way up the billing at choice festivals.

Squarely at home under the Gloom banner, severe pedal feedback peaks during “Vaquero”, a slo-mo fuzz monster that gathers in mass to be a real planet crusher. The air somewhat cleared, sombre synth-scan then toasts the low-end of dark-waving “Bad Blood II”, while the bottom-dredging glacial gouge of the single “Ride” is then turned on to a stuttering drum-machine delivery of buzzed-out beats. GHXST may always have been on the road to Nowhere, but it’s been one hell of a ride.

Best track: “Ocean Is A Desert”

~Gloom is out now on all the usual platforms.~