IV Hits the Main Vein
From the genre’s very conception, England has been a haven for heavy rock acts that push boundaries and leave lasting impressions on their listeners. About two hours down the M-40 from Black Sabbath’s proverbial stomping grounds, their influence lives on in bands like Part Chimp. The introductory track “Namekuji” features a sludgy, fuzz-saturated main riff with feedback-ridden squeals providing ambience. The vocals are incredibly suggestive of proto-metal artists that Part Chimp’s native country of England was famed for producing in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Combining the slow but sinister chord progressions and tempo of Black Sabbath, the general abundance of volume of Queens of the Stone Age, and the eccentric vocals of Cage the Elephant, the album marches on defiantly.
The fifth track of the album, “RoRo,” picks up the pace substantially, almost as if it was an additional push towards the conclusion for the listener. Though the droning sludge-infested tracks throughout the rest of the album do not lack in substance, the obligatory change of pace serves as a renewing breath before continuing with the final four tracks of the album.
The last tracks of the album feature an upward and downward undulation of energy, with the sense of impending doom and sluggish tempo previously exhibited continuing into “Bad Boon” and being reinvigorated in “The Saturn Superstition” soon after. IV concludes with an eight-minute marathon of a track in “A Lil’ Bit O’ Justice,” further exemplifying the stoner rock vibe.
By and large, the general character of the album seems to cleverly borrow from many sources to create something unique and oddly invigorating. Elder hard rock and proto-metal enthusiasts will find that IV is reminiscent of the classic hard rock sound of old, with a modern virulence that transcends multiple generations of rock ‘n’ roll devotees and would surely appeal to younger listeners as well.