Style: Stoner Metal
Release Date: 6 Jan 2020
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Here's another local band here in Phoenix, though this one isn't as famous as Spirit Adrift, let alone Sacred Reich or Flotsam and Jetsam. However, I did catch Loserfur live last year in a, shall we say, intimate venue called the Lunchbox and, while it was Smokey Mirror who blew me away that night, I enjoyed the other bands too, including the headliners, Loserfur, who played so loud for that size a place that it was almost uncomfortable. Apparently, that isn't uncommon for them.
They play instrumental stoner metal with particular fondness for huge riffs and feedback and both are well exhibited here on what I'm seeing described as an EP but which runs almost half an hour, longer than some of the actual full length albums I've reviewed. Check out The Shit That Killed Elvis as a great example of both. The use of feedback is obvious from the start and it gives the song a real urgency. The riff is, well the whole thing is more of a riff than it is a song, really, with a solo in the middle, but it really hits high gear and is one of my favourite pieces on the album.
Unfortunately, it starts with White Horse instead. I'm not sure what's going on at the beginning of this one with what sounds like a voice sample playing behind it that's only partially intelligible and really doesn't help anyone. It and its partner, Black Horse, which ends the album, are the weakest songs on offer and it seems strange to bookend a release with lesser material.
Fortunately, the five songs in between are much better. To Be Gutted starts out almost mellow with a lovely bass riff that's soon echoed by guitar. It's another song that's more of a riff than a song but it's a great riff and the dynamics of how it's handled make it another highlight. There's a nice riff in Fugal Worship too and an even more brutal one on Fuck Y'all that feels so live in the studio that I imagined the band practically playing on my desk.
The heart of the album, though, is Satan's Throne Room, a slow Black Sabbath homage with extra feedback. It plays out with a similar tempo profile to To Be Gutted but there's a lot more going on here. Loserfur do like the simpler songs in their repertoire but it's the more complex ones that tend to end up more memorable. The Shit That Killed Elvis might initially grab us with its riff but its the transitions and psychedelic midsection that cement it as a favourite.
Satan's Throne Room feels loose, as always defined by its riffs but with so much use of feedback that it never seems repetitive. By the end of the song, that feedback is swirling from right speaker to left and back like it's some sort of avant-garde soundscape. It makes for a raw and visceral sound that's not going to be for everyone, but it's a good demonstration of what Loserfur stand for musically and it's impossible to ignore.
To me it identifies them as the ugly younger brother to *insert any random stoner band here*, a snot-nosed little bastard who churns out riffs with a middle finger firmly extended to the industry. Loserfur are as subtle as a brick to the face and they like it that way. They're all about generating a killer riff, turning it up so loud that your ears will bleed and hammering it into our skulls until we submit. The sound is as rough and ready as the cover and I don't think Loserfur would have it any other way.