KEELHAUL - Subject To Change Without Notice

Keelhaul - Subject To Change Without Notice

12 songs
43:56 minutes
***** ***
Hydrahead / Conspiracy


Whoever said that music is supposed to be easy listening? Keelhaul from Ohio play a kind of music that feels like a slap in the face. Signed to Hydrahead Records, they show off a certain affinity for math rock structures, but unlike many of their contemporaries, the music never really veers off into prog or jazz territories, but is much closer to sludge, doom and sometimes even stoner sounds. The instrumental opener The Gooch starts out very doomy, reminding of Black Sabbath, but one minute into the song is enough for Keelhaul to change the mood and become more complex. Cruel Shoes is a more regular math sludge (?) song, before the eight minutes plus epic Driver's Bread distinguished this band from the rest: more experimental in scope, less tied to common structures, it is here where the actual journey actually begins. From here on, the album becomes quite adventurous, as hinted strongly by the album title. Most of the tracks are kept instrumentally, which draws parallels to Dysrhythmia, although Keelhaul have a rawer attitude towards music. It wouldn't be absolutely wrong to call this genre working man's math rock! Another epic (Randall) at the end of the album closes the regular section, before a prank phone call (Two Twinkies Deep) and a mellow fade out (Burlinolino) raise little interest. Subject To Change Without Notice could as well have done without those two tracks (and the running time would still have been about 40 minutes), but apart from that, it's all muscle and little fat, and an interesting addition for all those who like bands like Botch and Mastodon, or who could appreciate a bastard son of Dillinger Escape Plan and Black Sabbath. Recommended!

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