[sic] Magazine

GHXST – Dark Days EP

Edging ever further into apocalyptic textures and buzz-saw drones, Brooklyn’s always impressive doom-mongers GHXST are back with a new, aptly-titled EP and it picks up where their last, 2018’s equally aptly-titled Gloom, left off, the band’s most leaden riffs and thrusting aggression dialled back in favour of dreamier tones and relatively restrained atmospherics. Brooding distorto-rock still dominates however, blackened blues and slo-mo fuzz setting up the irresistible Shelley X and her magnificent no-waving vocal to again smash it out of the park.

The heavily reverbed “Shimmer” duly opens the EP with bass-led desert-rock, whip-crack 808 beats just as cool as Shelley’s dirgeful disinterest, which hangs in miasmic suspension over the mix. The bass again then falls like anvils on “Come Home”, the hazy vocal this time cutting a swathe through the Badlands gloom like a killer whale through a ball of baitfish. Mean and moody Blues as thick as molasses follow, clearing the way for the slow-revving superbikes of “P.U.R.R.”, heavyweight pistons pulsing over 808 electronics and extreme sub-woofers at some properly dangerous, unlicensed race-meet. Fingers audible on the blown-out fret, “U R My Night” is in turn all melody, roughed up by feedback and a touch of nihilistic grunge, these same simmering tempos continuing into the mesmerically metallic “Die High” to close, a jangling car crash of an EP you just can’t rip your eyes or ears away from.

We’re fast running out of superlatives for this great band. Keep the releases coming though, and we’ll keep rummaging through the shadows like a kid during Hallowe’en.

Best track: “Come Home”

~The Dark Days EP is released 16th November 2020.~

GHXST · It Falls Apart