Flood: Over the Water Line

Not easy to track down this art.It?s strange in considering the generally watery concepts behind San Franciscan epic stoner doomers Flood that the first and longest track on their MeteorCity debut, Native, would be called ?Aphelion.? The furthest point from the sun. The sun which is made of fire. Literally the opposite of water, which the other three songs, ?Dam,? ?Atlantis? and ?Water,? more or less have covered to complete the album. But, if there are thematic discrepancies to be noted along the way, one can hardly blame the burrito-friendly trio (four piece if you count Scott, who handles the fog machine). Judging by the riffs on Native, these dudes are baked like grandma?s cookies.

Although it?s only Flood?s first release, Native epitomizes everything that works about its specific brand of jammed out droning. I call it ?brown metal,? because it?s so heavy you?ll shit your pants. The guitars lead the way, of course, and are more distorted than fuzzy, but the massive pounding of Fink?s drums is not to be missed, and Eli?s bass lays a vast rumbling foundation that hooks the album into the stoner pantheon (see ?Aphelion? at 11:04). Sporadic vocals are transmissions from planet 11 that couple well with the occasional echoplexed sample and readily step back to let the riffs take charge.

?Dam? and ?Atlantis,? being the two shortest tracks at 6:19 and 7:36, respectively, follow less grandiose Live.patterns than ?Aphelion? (18:29) or ?Water? (10:38), but have no smaller amount of breathing room. ?Dam? is a two-riffer from guitarist Amir the simplicity of which is contrasted by the amount of effects on the vocals and the sheer hypnotic power of repetition. It?s dive-in stoner groove set against a backdrop of trembling, dirty psych doom. Imagine your head, nodding. There you go.

The intro of ?Atlantis? calls YOB to mind, but soon moves back into straightforward riffing, that were it not for the changes in the structure ? a short break as the title line repeats ? might be redundant given what had already come before. Later in the track, however, ?Atlantis? proves to have the fastest and most active section on Native, which by the time it arrives is both surprising and an adrenaline-raising shift in approach, the few seconds of silence after which set the darker, doomier tone for ?Water? to close out the record.

Amir hints at some more melodic guitar work late in ?Water,? biting a progression off of some heavier metal and putting it to good use as the album?s apex. As an example of what Flood can do, ?Water? might work best, since it?s superficially familiar but underscored with a deceptive and complex individuality that, hopefully, will reveal itself further on future releases. As a debut from the young, first-name-only band, however, Native shows Flood are indeed well in their element, riffing corpulent stoner jams that will nest easily in the mental jukeboxes of the initiated. Recommended.


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