Picks: Dealer, Haxxan, Gloson

Every Monday we recommend three new releases from the world of rock, metal, punk and hardcore. In this latest trio groove is the name of the game, present even in the most unexpected places. From Sweden to California, from black metal to sludge, this week’s Picks contains something for you if you’re a worshipper at the riff altar.

Dealer
Billionaire Boys Club
Wicked World Records
[Spotify]

There’s no messing about on Billionaire Boys Club. Opening song ‘AM Gold’ rips straight into full flow from the off, and it’s obvious from the very beginning what Oakland’s Dealer are all about: riffs. Fuzzy, sludgy, filthy riffs. ‘Odious Charm’ has one of the best but there are contenders aplenty on this 35-minute orgy of metallic punk ‘n’ roll. This record seems to go everywhere you want it to go, every time you want it to go there. It has a sort of satisfying predictability, not because it lacks artistry but because its sense of groove is utterly convincing. There’s something very satisfying about nodding along to an album that somehow scratches the itch you never really knew you had.

Haxxan
Loch Ness Rising
Hell’s Headbangers
[Spotify]

Loch Ness Rising is a black metal rager rooted in a longstanding interest in the work of Aleister Crowley and it was available on Bandcamp preorder for $6.66 – of course it was. Black metal is an inadequate pigeonhole from the start. The title track gets proceedings underway and it has a luxurious groove that tees up the power of ’93’ and the Satyriconian riffs that make this album, in some regards, a representative of the least extreme end of its subgenre. It’s really in its element when it comes to mid-paced riffing with blackened undertones. This is black metal served up from the fires of the underworld, with not a snowbound forest in sight.

Gloson
Grimen
Catatonic State
[Spotify]

Finally this week we’re in Scandinavia to get down and dirty with the debut album from sludged-out post-metallers Gloson. The Swedish five-piece trade in doomy atmospherics married to subtly executed driving riffs, a pairing at its devastating best in opening epic ‘Prowler’. The fourth track, ‘Specter’, is the shortest on Grimen by far but a hit single it ain’t. With a clean vocal and the introduction of symphonic elements, its build to a booming explosion is as well crafted as they come. The closer, ‘Embodiment’, is the longest song on the record and is a mighty composition worth your time on its own.

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