Humulus Stream Electric Walrus EP in Full


This coming weekend, Italian three-piece Humulus will perform as part of the Keep it Low festival in Munich, sharing a stage with Fever DogFatso Jetson and Belzebong, among others. To coincide, the Bergamo trio have a new EP called Electric Walrus that’s available as of today that marks their first release since their 2012 self-titled debut came out on Go Down Records, and their first outing with guitarist/vocalist Andrea Van Cleef in the band alongside bassist Giorgio Bonacorsi and drummer Massimiliano Boventi. That’s a big change in itself, but the change in the band’s dynamic goes even further, the three-track/22-minute outing positioning Humulus in more of a heavy psychedelic/desert rocking vein than did the beery sludge riffs of the debut, and listening to “Red Star, Winter Orbit,” the opener and longest cut at 12:00 (immediate points), it’s hard not to come away with a sense of just how much the scope has expanded.

Clearly intended in its structure toward a vinyl release, Electric Walrus pairs “Red Star, Winter Orbit” with what would be a side B comprised of “Maud and the Black Moon” and “Glider,” both of which check in at just under five minutes. Each represents something of a turn in vibe within the sort of stylistic umbrella overhead of heavy fuzz, desert atmosphere and psychedelic flourish. The first track, for example, is completely instrumental. It unfolds along a natural-but-plotted course in the vein of Causa Sui or Samsara Blues Experiment, and impresses not only with its runtime, but in the fact that Humulus keep it together for the duration and move so smoothly between peaks and valleys, humulus electric walrusmoving late into a section held together by the bassline and featuring big-sky-at-night guitar echo that, even after 12 minutes of the track as a whole, seems to end too soon. There’s a turn almost right away as “Maud and the Black Moon” starts, since the tones change and the song sounds more like Mark Lanegan fronting spacier Fatso Jetson, the vocals of Van Cleef impressing with a reverby presence that sits well over a post-grunge progression that departs its march at the midsection but picks up again to finish with a decent bit of rhythmic momentum.

And while the soft guitar opening of “Glider” is enough on first listen to make one think that maybe the increase in activity was a fluke and Humulus are going to close out the EP with another excursion into Colour Haze-y instrumental exploration — not that there’s anything wrong with that, because there isn’t — about 30 seconds in, they kick into a Truckfighters-style fuzz-rocker, and Van Cleef‘s voice seems no less suited to that than he was to the slower “Maud and the Black Moon.” “Glider” proves to be the most memorable hook of Electric Walrus — the appeal of which extends well beyond its frickin’ awesome title — but the crux of the short release is more about how much ground Humulus cover in the included three songs and how fluid they seem to be shifting between one style or another, trading off ambience for rhythmic drive and emerging from the other side a cohesive-sounding whole.

It’s an impressive feat, particularly for a group with a new frontman making essentially a second debut, and I’m thrilled to be able to host the tracks for streaming in time with the EP’s release and their appearance at Keep it Low. Please find Humulus‘ Electric Walrus on the player below, and enjoy:

Humulus are a heavy-stoner power trio from Brescia/Bergamo (Italy), formed in 2009. Their first self titled album is released by Go Down Records in december 2012. The ten tracks of this first work fully reflect the stoner attitude of the band and their aggressive sound that is best expressed during their live shows. 2013 and 2014 are truly years full of pivotal shows for Humulus career; the band shared the stage with bands like Corrosion Of Conformity, Karma To Burn, Naam and Truckfighters, and they participated also in festivals like Home Festival and Maximum Festival.

In 2014 another great love of the band sees the light: beer! Humulus produced for 2014 their eponymous black stoner IPA, brewed in collaboration with ELAV Indipendent Brewery. Humulus sound is just like that: a combination of fat and fuzzy guitars, heavy riffs…and a lot of beer!

In 2015, after a change of formation, Humulus recorded their new EP called Electric Walrus EP.

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