Clamfight would be named by a collection of mollusk-loving foodies, but I fear their name comes from something far more seedy. The revelation that “the name was conceived whilst watching an influential movie” isn’t a complete surprise then, nor the tit-bit about them not wanting to “get into which movie or what scene”. I bet they don’t, dirty boys.
These East Coast crushers display all the hallmarks of both High On Fire’s shouty, sludgy, all-encompassing thrum and Saviours’
punk quirks and strong urge to break into galloping rhythms. It’s a
hefty combination and one that deserves the good head-jerking that you
will inevitably grant it. As is the case with both the aforementioned
bands, Andy Martin’s wild vocals often gets a good smothering and as a
consequence the lyrical content is often tough to pick out – I believe
“I vs. The Glacier” has a peek-a-boo line that sounds like “Winners for
years” or it could be “Witness four ears”. Your guess is as good as
mine. It does however feature an enigmatic, visceral lead and a spot of
downtime that wobbles and howls as it plays its psychedelic mind games.
“The Eagle” is pure riff; crushing, vitriolic and Neanderthal. It is
the beast that will carve a mile-wide rut across your mind, whilst
“Sandriders” thunders along at a fair lick, the vocals snapping at your
heels, the drums’ reverberating thunder, the whole vehicle careering
from side to side before slipping back into a swagger. “River Of Ice”,
on the other hand, steadily chimes along a single chord, pulses like a
heartbeat and features some neat, warbling cosmic touches. Every
element, including that nagging underscore, all scream out Mastodon. These tracks are all hefty statements of intent; slaps of the glove across the cheeks of their peers.
Other highlights come in the form of the rock-a-saurus mosh of “I vs.
The Glacier” and the much angrier blast of “Shadow Line”. This latter
monster displays Bison B C’s tendency to stray mid-song – part-groove, part-braying, roaring insanity – it’s also the sound of Motorhead’s
Lemmy being trampled underfoot. There’s the odd weak spot, glaringly
the odd instrumental “Tower Of The Elephant II” (named “The Green Gods
Of Yag” on this promo) which adds very little to the pile, but you
couldn’t really accuse them of using it to pad out the album because of
the variety of attack on offer.
Also, I haven’t seen an album with such an intriguing tracklist as
this in a long time. Seriously, run your eyes down that list. Even
before you’ve heard it you just know “Age Of Reptiles” is going to sound
swampy, stompy and like its full of teeth (it does) and “Stealing The
Ghost Horse” will undoubtedly get its blackened doom on (it does, in a Crowbar-y
sort of way). All the song titles get the mind racing, conjuring enough
images to demand further investigation. If it’s the last thing I do,
I’m going to eventually get hold of a lyric sheet. All that remains to
be said is… you’d better have your flamethrowers at the ready, folks.
This is one mean opponent. I Versus The Glacier – Round One. Ding ding!