Friday Full-Length: Acrimony, Tumuli Shroomaroom

Acrimony, Tumuli Shroomaroom (1997)

Who doesn’t want to get down with a little Acrimony? In the thrilling world of demographic research, there is a class of people known as “early adopters.” As a group, they want to be the first with a new piece of technology, new gadget, etc. They embrace new ideas and ways of thinking. I can’t come up with a better phrase than that to position UK outfit Acrimony when it comes to stoner rock’s ’90s heyday. While Electric Wizard wouldn’t release their self-titled debut until 1995 and Orange Goblin‘s Frequencies from Planet Ten didn’t surface until 1997, Acrimony issued their Hymns to the Stone debut in 1994. Yeah, it’s produced like a metal album — that was very much Acrimony‘s background; not a coincidence they wound up on Peaceville Records — but by the time they got around to 1997’s sophomore outing, Tumuli Shroomaroom, that metallic bite had smoothed out to a killer heavy rock and roll vibe, and Acrimony‘s groove help set the high standard to which the UK underground continues to aspire, songs like “Million Year Summer,” “Find the Path” with its “give me some Valium” urgings and the all-over-10-minutes closing trio of “Motherslug (The Mother of all Slugs),” “Heavy Feather” and “Firedance” consuming listeners with brilliantly executed nod that, if it showed up in my mailbox this week, I’d still be stoked on it.

Acrimony were also way more unabashedly stoner rock than many of their contemporaries. Their final release, a compilation titled Bong on – Live Long! came out in 2007, preceded by a 2003 split with Church of Misery, and while Acrimony may have been ahead of their time, Tumuli Shroomaroom is a record whose legend has continued to grow in spite of the band’s dissolution. Most of Acrimony — guitarist Stuart O’Hara, bassist Paul Bidmead and drummer Darren Ivey — can be found these days in Sigiriya, whose second offering, Darkness Died Today, was released earlier this year as their Candlelight Records debut following 2011’s re-debut, Return to Earth. Still, Acrimony‘s work stands out for what they did, how well they did it, and when they did it. They didn’t invent stoner rock, but they sure as hell got the gist of it quickly. I know these guys are at the top of a lot of reunion wishlists, and I wouldn’t complain about seeing them live at some point, but particularly with Sigiriya kicking around, I’m content to leave Acrimony‘s legacy untouched if that’s what the band would rather do. This record’s gonna kick ass forever one way or another.

Hope you enjoy.

Late night, right? I got back a bit ago from seeing Elder‘s return show in Cambridge. It was ElderRozamovSummoner and Set, which is quite possibly the best all-local lineup I’ve seen since I moved here. I’ll have to go back and check the archive on that one to be sure, but it certainly felt like it when I was at the show. I’ll have a review on Monday with some pictures from the so-dark-it-made-everyone-look-grim-and-black-metal Middle East Upstairs, but the quick version is it was an excellent time.

Also Monday, look out for a track premiere from Latitude Egress as they cross the line between blackened doom and doomed black metal, and later on in the week, new tracks from Larman Clamor and Angels of Meth, whose demo is being reissued — the band became Phantom Glue — on tape. Also hoping to get to see Earth on Tuesday and Uncle Acid on Thursday, so it’s going to be quite a week. Somewhere in there, I’d also finally like to give All Them Witches‘ Lightning at the Door a proper review, since they’ve now given it a proper release, but we’ll see how it is with hours in the day, there being only so many of them and whatnot.

Thanks to everyone who checked in for Vinyl Week this week, took a look at the records, entered a contest (or two), etc. It was a lot more work than I thought it was going to be, but a good time on the whole, so I appreciate you indulging me. I still have a bunch more vinyl to write about, so the week may be over, but the pile remains. More to come.

But not tonight. It’s well after 2AM here — early Saturday morning in the UK; I’ll confess I had GMT in mind when I picked Acrimony to end the week — and that’s time to put on some Mystery Science Theater 3000 and call it a night. If you’re in New York and attending the Uninvited festival this weekend, you have my jealousy, but wherever you might be and whatever you might be up to, I hope it’s fantastic. Be safe, have a blast, and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

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4 Responses to “Friday Full-Length: Acrimony, Tumuli Shroomaroom

  1. goAt says:

    Did you have to miss ALL THEM WITCHES the other night with WINDHAND? Full week, eh brother? It was their first time in BOSTON…

    • Yeah, I know. But I’d been out Tuesday, knew I was going out Friday, so Thursday became less of an option. Even aside from the financial factor, there’s fatigue. I heard Middle East was packed for Windhand though. Did you go?

      • goAt says:

        I did indeed, my man! I’ll spare you the hyperbole. :) I was stoked to pick up the ALL THEM WITCHES record and cd, looking forward to your review on that. It’s been a stacked week for THE RIFF here in Boston for sure…

  2. Ricardo Mora says:

    Thanks again man, it’s things like this that keeps me coming back day after day to listen and read to what you have to say.

    I was deeply pleased with Sigiriya the other day and now even more.

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