Musket Hawk & Sunburster – Split

Artist: Musket Hawk & Sunburster

Title:  Split

Release: 7″ vinyl & Digital

Year: 2015

Label: Unholy Anarchy Records

In USA there are so many doom, sludge, blackened whatnot bands, man… It’s not real. Yeah, I guess the scene is huge and shit, but still, you open a local label and everything’s band names with all caps one word names, usually featuring bong or sun in their names. The rest you know huge beards, whisky with beer (meh) and big men with tiny fuzzy guitars. So I guess as it’s quite a task to get a name for yourself in this already pretty oversaturated scene it’s the same for listeners to even start listening to a band, because they are just so many of them.

In this case such smaller releases as the Musket Hawk & Sunburster – Split 7″ vinyl on Unholy Anarchy are an awesome helper when wondering either to go deeper or jump to the next one. I’d have enjoyed it more if I had the chance to read the lyrics as well, but I guess the label didn’t find it necessary to upload them, -10 hardcore punk points hah.

To make things even easier I’ll give you a hint what you’re going to find on this one. Hidden behind the one of the most inappropriate artworks I’ve seen for a doom / sludge record (not just because of that non-proportional bird sitting on Frankenstein’s gigantic skull, but the questionable typographic choice as well) you find one track per band.

On Side A are Musket Hawk, a band blending doom and sludge, with a bit of death metal / grind. Their track is mostly based on builds up, leading in is a heavy riff and a slightly dissonant melody which as all instruments enter disappears. Most specific thing about this track are the vocals, the singers experiment with few blends, ranging from depressive black metalish screeches to ultra low growls and all that’s in between. There are cool tempo switches (kind of post-metal style), rhythmic variations and crunchy guitar textures in this one, definitely an interesting listen that might be able to get you into checking the band out further.

On Side B the things are getting a bit more standard. Sunburster are playing straight-forward sludge metal, with fuzzy guitar riffs and basslines, which you’ve probably heard plenty of times already. It’s all there from the riff repetitions in minimalist variations, to the ‘now only bass’ part and the playful yet screaming vocals. Anyhow, their music is nicely written and produced and I guess if you have a heart for pure sludge, which I obviously don’t, put on the trucker hat and get behind that motherfucking wheel, while sungazing, sunbursting, sunstaring, whatever you like to do with the sun.

Angel S.

Freelance journalist and full-time copywriter from hell. Playing ambient & drone music as Mytrip, teaching Sound Art, booking shows with For The Kids & Amek Collective. Always in for a cup of coffee.