[sic] Magazine

Earth Tongue – Great Haunting

Heavy enough to upend the Southern Cross, something massive is stirring down under. Earth Tongue are guitarist Gussie Larkin (equally of Mermaidens) and drummer Ezra Simons and Great Haunting is their second LP and first for garage mecca In The Red, a hook-up that’s courtesy of a run of shows supporting no less than Ty Segall in their native New Zealand. And the great man has definitely taught the pair a thing or two, especially when it comes to reconciling primitive noise, outright fuzz and damn catchy hooks. But, boy, do the duo make the familiar their own by drafting in some spooky, spidery synths and a full battalion of bass doom. Larkin’s feminine vocals too add an unusual, textural dimension to the listen that the pair exploit time and again.

The result is a minimal, crushingly heavy series of grooves that’ll slay live. Grimy single “Bodies Dissolve Tonight!” is a real face-flattener that threatens to spin off its axis at every turn. A bareknuckle blast, “Nightmare” is full of crunching fuzz and massive distortion, Larkin’s Segall-esque yelp reverbed for echoey effect. Later she turns psych-folk mystic on “Miraculous Death” as the thunderous guitar brings the citadel walls down around her, a kaleidoscopic, slow-motion sludge making the closer, “The Reluctant Host”, just as trippy. Bringing instant clarity in such company, the headbanging “Grave Pressure” even comes on like some first-wave grunge outfit with a boner for Black Sabbath. Great Haunting is loud enough to be heard across oceans; take heed when it hits your shores.

Best track: “Grave Pressure”

~Great Haunting is released 14th June 2024 via In The Red.~