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Lumbar - The First and Last Days of Unwelcome (Reissue)

Lumbar
The First and Last Days of Unwelcome (Reissue)
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 05 February 2019, 7:19 AM

Doom Sludge Meal from Portland, Oregon—they are a super group of sorts.    Most noticeably this album features Mike Scheidt (mastermind behind Doom legends YOB)as one of the vocalist.  This is a reissue of their debut “The First And Last Days of Unwelcome,” and it looks like it might be their last.  The band’s leader (and who plays all the instruments), Aaron Edge, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, hence the band’s name, in honor of the three spinal taps he received for diagnosis.

The fact he was able to continue to record this record is a testament to his strength and it is an album fraught with ever emotion you can think of, all the way backed up by riffs that might as well be sonic forms of thunderous behemoths.  Although it is only seven tracks whose combined lengths don’t even total out to twenty five minutes, this isn’t really an album that will grab you at first—multiple listens are required.  “Day Three” and “Day Five,” are both prime examples of this because they aren’t really music in the conventional sense.  Both tracks take a more noise approach to doom, with seemingly random guitar parts and over use of fuzz and filtered vocals…definitely more ambient than most Doom/Sludge bands can do.  These two tracks fit together in the overall story/theme being told (which is, understandably, his mindset dealing with pain and change) here but they don’t work as individual tracks—like I said, this album is best enjoyed as one full course meal rather than a la carte.

However, there are several tracks that do sound great alone, if one feels the need to pick through the album.  “Day One,” is heavy Stoner/Sludge with the fuzz layered on top of all already thick riffs; think SLEEP but a lot more emotionally infused.  The bass alone is a Doom fan’s dream, it literally rattled my headphones with warm but thick vibrations.  The middle part of the song is one of the heavier things in Doom I’ve heard lately.  It is just a such a huge wall of sound, nothing less than a monolith of destruction. “Day Four,” is another short track but there is a lot to like here, not the least of which is the drumming especially the cymbal work. Musically, it slides between electric waves of thunder and clean guitar that isn’t huge for melody but to make such dynamic song even more so in such a short amount of time.

Mike and Tad work well together as vocalist—with one doing a more throaty growl and the other a more traditional take, the two really help the songs convey the whirl of emotions that no doubt Edge experienced while writing it. I missed this album the first time it was released so hopefully this reissue gets the attention it deserves.  They might not ever make another album but they certainly left their mark.

Songwriting:8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Day One
2. Day Two
3. Day Three
4. Day Four
5. Day Five
6. Day Six
7. Day Seven
Lineup:
Aaron Edge – Drums, Guitars, Bass
Mike Scheidt – Vocals
Tad Doyle – Vocals
Record Label: Argonauta Records
     


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