Saturday, October 17, 2015

Bedroom Rehab Corporation - Fortunate Some

Art by Liz Walshak

I typically don't get a lot of unsolicited emails from bands asking me to check their stuff out. I often don't have the time anyway. But Bedroom Rehab Corporation got my attention first with their name. Then the professionalism of their contact. Then their awesome one-sheet pdf which included the killer album cover by Liz Walshak. Then the video included for "When All You've Got is a Hammer". Package that all up and Fortunate Some couldn't be more suited to my interests. So first of all, kudos to you, BRC for promoting yourselves excellently.

But the music is even more excellent. This bass/vocals (Adam Wujtewicz) and drums (Megan Killimade) duo from Connecticut plays a style of psychedelic doom full of power, passion and of course, fuzz.

I'm gonna go track-by-track on this one because there's only four in a near-perfect runtime of about 28 minutes, and it's my blog.

We start of with the shortest track in "Riddles of Wind and Time". Right away we're treated to how Adam can manipulate his bass. At times it sounds more like a piano than a bass. In a device the band employs often those quieter bass moments slink under his vocals while Meghan hammers and pops higher in the mix. The sinister doom stalks the listener with devious eyes and huge riffs layered with a descendent melody. It's hypnotic, mean and leads into the next track well.

"When All You've Got is a Hammer" is super catchy. The chorus will be stuck in my head forever. "When all you've got is a hammer/It becomes all you need/All I've got is this hammer/Everything looks like nails to me" sums it right up.

Again they use a quiet/loud dynamic between the verses and chorus with Adam's bass growling like a surly beast and Meghan channelling one of my all-time favourite drummers in Chris Hakius and his style in Sleep, OM and the short-lived The Sabians. She holds the pulse of the songs, doggedly driving forward with a snare that snaps with muscle. "Hammer" moves into some heavy psych territory with the main theme persisting, where Adam really coaxes some crazy out his instrument utilizing every inch of the neck and what I'm sure is an admirable pedal board. I can only wish to dominate my bass that way. On this track in particular he gets downright transcendent. He creates incredible atmosphere and Meghan's drum patterns are just as infectious as any riff.

"Giants in the Ice" is a sloburner rumbling and rolling with a lethargic pace befitting the title. It's quite the trip, easily drawing the listener into a state of bliss with their typical sinuous dynamics and blend of oppression and airiness. And Adam really lets it rip in screaming "Giants in the ice!" While still working within the soundspace it's their most straightforward track, leading into closer "The Serpent, The Smiler".

Meghan's tribal beats dominate the track with the bass getting eerie, whether quiet or loud. Adam shows off his vocal range here with cleans moving to gruff. He's moving like a wave, cresting and resting. All the while Meghan continues her cyclical movements to perfection. The track moves into a mind bender psych solo, and emerges with a renewed sense of percussive purpose driving a free-form sonic bass exploration eventually morphing into screams and a ferociousness on all fronts. Then it crashes out in a exhausted state.

Fortunate Some is a very welcome surprise in a year of quality doom. The duo have obvious chemistry with each member critical to the success of the other. They're subtly dynamic, shaping atmosphere when called for and bludgeoning when you need it. They have a way of shifting the sonic focus between themselves so the listener always has someone to love.

I'm a sucker for tone and I love the sounds both wrangle from their instruments. I'm also a sucker for duos. There's just something about the two-person band that makes a connection with me. It doesn't always work mind you but when it does, as is the case with BRC, it's a beautiful thing. Just you and me against the world, baby. Wielding hammers of course.

I can't recommend this enough. Honest, dynamic, psychedelic and forceful doom from two individuals who obviously live and breathe for their art.

I doubt I'd be able to talk the Mrs. into listening to this in the bedroom though. Giants, serpents, hammers, wind? Nope.

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