Press/Reviews

I’ve had the opportunity to listen to Oakland, CA trio Sludgebucket’s latest release Cockroach Season a few times now as I’ve been working and writing away the last several afternoons and finally I find myself with a little bit of time to tell you about it.

Don’t be fooled by the band’s name as the trio led by Kelly Ross Waldrip has much more to offer than sludge mixing numerous styles into their sound from folk to doom to psychedelic making their brand of sludge a little different than what you normally think of when seeing that word.

When I see the word sludge I generally think of two things NOLA and a fuzzed out, down tuned sound, however, Sludgebucket doesn’t not hail from the south and puts their sludgy mix together a little differently. Cockroach Season begins with the instrumental title track which has some elements of folk to it making it a nice warm up for what is to come. Sludgebucket’s latest release Cockroach Season a few times now as I’ve been working and writing away the last several afternoons and finally I find myself with a little bit of time to tell you about it.

The second track, Vulture’s Feast, is a plodding number showing off some of the doom roots of the band. Waldrip’s voice starts off like a demon crying out from down below before breaking into a little cleaner style later in the track. It has the fuzziness that sludge is known for but is definitely different than anything you’ll hear coming out of classic NOLA sludge bands or sludge bands in general. 
Red Underneath keeps your ears interested with alternating blistering downtuned sludge with a simple plucked guitar chord.

The contrast makes it an interesting listen also showing some of the band’s psychedelic influence as the keyboards kick in about half way through the track. An interesting listen for sure. The track fades out bringing in a spoken word type opening to East Wind Locust. The keyboard work is provided by Jim Juhn who also acted as engineer for the album. Dueling guitar and bass lines from guitarist Brad Reisinger and vocalist/bassist Waldrip keep the song interesting and fun to listen to. 

 


Penniless Blues contrary to its name isn’t really a blues song to my ear but is a nice interlude instrumental seguing into the final third of the album. 110 Degrees is a stoner type psychedelic song that makes you want to drop a tab or roll one up to bask in the sun with though hopefully it isn’t a 110 degrees when you do. I couldn’t help bobbing my head and smiling to this track, it just makes you feel good all over. I would say Unwind is the sludgiest tune on the album but it mixes in a psychedelia feel as well as a little stoner rock so that it isn’t a typical sludge song either. The track doesn’t set a blistering pace but methodically gets you shaking your head with a heavy feel though it isn’t the heaviest track in the world. That brings us to the album closer, Introspection, which is a quick bass solo by the backbone of Sludgebucket, Kelly Ross Waldrip. To be honest I’ve always been partial to good bass solos so all I can really say about the closer, Introspection, is Mr. Waldrip it was too short! Its excellent then it ends just leaving me hanging man! 

In the end the best thing I can say about Cockroach Season is that it could have used a couple more tracks but that really isn’t a bad thing. On a scale of 1-5 I’d put Cockroach Season in at a comfortable 3 to 3.5 and that isn’t bad at all. The band seems to have a solid lineup now with guitarist Brad Reisinger, drummer Marc Kaufman and vocalist/bassist/founder Kelly Waldrip who are currently working on new material as Cockroach Season is a bit of a mash up with the current band lineup and previous lineups. I have no doubt that what Sludgebucket puts out next, if nothing else, will be interesting to listen to. This isn’t typical sludge and that is a good thing.

SLUDGEBUCKET – CLOWNSOULPOWERTRIP [ZZPOT RECORDS]

November 7, 2011, 2:51 pm 
Filed under: Album Reviews

Release Date: Out now.

Record Label: ZZPOT Records.

A veteran trio from California’s Bay Area scene, Sludgebucket’s second release is tinged with sadness.

Founded by vocalist Kelly Waldrip in 2006 – after much persuasion from then-guitarist, John Robert Santos as a way of “getting his tunes out,” – Waldrip and drummer, Doug Weldy, tragically lost Santos in March 2009. Described by his band mates as “an innovator” Santos left behind ZZPOT Records: a label where friends and family can release music independently, by way of Santos’ Hedonistic Studio.

Raw, bluesy and filled with emotion, Clownsoulpowertrip is melodic to say the least, weaving: prog, psych, doom and stoner, into its 14-track tapestry. With three more albums set to be released on ZZPOT Records in the near future – albeit under a new line-up – Clownsoulpowertrip is a bittersweet success.

 

11 NOVEMBER 2011 Sludgebucket - ClownSoulPowerTrip CD
Country: U.S.A
Genre: Stoner / Doom
Release Date:9 July 2011
Format: CD jewel case (2nd edition)
Label: Zzpot Records
Duration: 52:43
Album ID:

Tracklist:

1.Narcoleptic Tides
2.Blink of an Eye
3.Super Ego
4.Ulcer
5.Syshiphus 
6.Neuromancer
7.Autobahn
8.Spiraling Muse
9.Swamp Crotto
10.Zombie Waltz
11.In The Moment
12.Last Sunset
13.Through The Years
14.Swamp Crotto (reprise)

Sludgebucket - clownsoulpowertrip CD  

Review
Sludgebucket formed in Oakland late 2004 with Kelly Waldrip and ex-guitarist Robert Santos(Rip) to bring their 70's elements with 90's heavy doom metal music together , the influences are so wide from Black Sabbath ,St.Vitus to King Crimson and The Beatles , if you wonder if this change the stoner doom metal identity ;
Ok straight out to the first track 'Narcoleptic Tides'  (featuring former guitarist John Robert Santos) remind us  way back to 'Sleep Holly Mountain' period sure you will be suspiciously think there is one of these boring band that recycled doom metal riffs from Black Sabbath ,Obsessed or Clutch ,backing organ and the deep confidently singing with sludge elements give a decent results ,sometimes pass my mind the independent releases of Against Nature ex-Revelation causes of progressive elements .Sludgebucket in Super Ego mixed Sludge with melody ,not the easiest think from the first doom metal riff songs here some Pink Floyd tunes !'Syshiphus' adding some speed  motorhead tunes ,'Spiraling Muse' is one of the tracks that goes indifferent to pick with very confusing results , the missing element at the middle of the listening is some rawness in any case balanced with Kelly s temporary growls .Continued with country psychedelic 'Swamp Crotto' and 'Zombie Waltz' In 'The Moment'  progressive instrumental tracks finally the band came up with an excellent  doom song 'Last Sunset' .   
Clownsoulpowertrip is the record that should  not missing at every doom metal fan discography collection you will surprised from the start to ending hearing this work!

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Editor's Rating: 4/5 stars

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2.8 / 5 - 4 vote(s).
Info:
(2005– present)
 
Line up:
Kelly Waldrip - bass/vocals
Doug Weldy - drums
Brad Reisinger - guitar
Jordan Watts -guitar *on ClownSoulPowerTrip CD
Disco: 
Sludgebucket CD 2007
ClownSoulPowerTrip CD 2011