Monday, 7 July 2014

Wo Fat - The Conjuring (2014) / 85%

Deep Fried Doom with a side of blues

The boys from Dallas, Texas are back with their fifth album since their inception in the early 2000s and it's a fucking massive album. After their excellent 2012 album The Black Code which probably was the band at its peak, they really didn't have to change their sound for their new album since they reached a perfect understanding of it.

The trio led by Kent Stump rocks super hard and even though they're from the Obese nation of America, they're all pretty thin dudes. Pretty disappointing considering the name of the band but oh well, their riffs are greasy as fuck nonetheless. Musically, it's quite groovy and the guitar, bass and drums formula works well within their boundaries. The basis of their compositions is huge doom/stoner metal which is deeply rooted in southern American blues so you can definitely feel the melting sun of Texas on your forehead with these guys. The guitar playing of Stump is superb, he's delivering intense, heavy yet catchy riffs alongside long ass solos with a jam band feeling. There's a perfect harmony with the rhythm section composed of Tim Wilson and Michael Walter, the band has been playing together since the beginning and no lineup changes has plagued their unity (something unfortunately rare nowadays.)

Stump also sings but the vocals are far from being the focus of Wo Fat (damn, I like saying their name, it feels like eating a deep fried Oh Henry or something.) They could be an instrumental band for all I care and it won't change what I think of them (in fact, there's an instrumental version to be found!) The closer “Dreamwalker” is a seventeen minutes song so there's not a lot of vocals and nevertheless,  it's never boring. They always added subtle but enjoyable psychedelic elements that are only giving another layer of intricacy to the band. Their music can feel a bit overwhelming at times, it's full of emotions and grasping but the length is perfect for them, it's much more condensed than their two debuts (both like seventy minutes, that's just too much, brothers)

The vocals are sparse and nothing special overall. It's gnarly clean but drunken vocals. He's good enough for what they're doing but don't expect anything spectacular on that front. There's this huge blues influence such as in “Pale Rider From the Ice” with its slide guitar riffs and groovy, sentimental vocals. Their lyrics are pretty decent, psychedelic, metaphorical fantasy based themes are their forte for this one compared to the science fiction/pulp of The Black Code.

I can certainly fee the Kyuss influence here, it's crossing the stoner rock frontiers quite often and even though it remains a metal band, they're not that heavy. I'm sure that if I show Wo Fat to some old bluesemen, they'll dig them. There's this certain honesty about them that you can't simply can't fake.

Before the enjoyment of this album, you will need:
-A sixer of cheap watery beer.
-Some BBQed chicken and sausages with perhaps some Tex Mex food.
-Old Stevie Ray Vaughan and ZZ Top vinyls.

Wo Fat's Fatbook page

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