Album #170: OHHMS – Close

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Canterbury, England
  • Label: Holy Roar
  • Best Track: Asylum

I’m always intrigued, if sometimes underwhelmed, by these six- or seven-track sludge metal/post-rock albums. Kent-based OHHMS have only been around since 2014 but are already on their third, with Close dropping last Friday.

This album took me by surprise a little. Opening track ‘Alive!’ starts off quiet and brooding, leading me to expect a Mogwai-esque record. A couple of minutes in though, it explodes, the crunching guitars kick in and it becomes obvious we’re in for a grungy, sludgy ride.

I find I switch off a bit in the middle of the album, but it ends rousingly. It perhaps sums up that I don’t quite get this genre that my favourite track is under two minutes long. ‘Asylum’ has an excellent contrast of the coarse, yelled vocals and the powerful, melodic singing, and morphs into something of a doomed battle cry (“They’re coming to take us away”). It’s also a gateway to the unnerving loud/quiet juxtaposition of closer ‘Unplugged’.

I can’t quite love this sort of music, but I can tell OHHMS are a great listen if you do.

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