Under The Machineel
23rd February 2018 – Exile on Mainstream
02. Death Of Ceres
03. Breathing A Vein
04. No Hell
Treedeon‘s noise-sludge takes clear influence from fuzz-heavy stoner rock but with a keener edge. Lacing their bang-on sludge onslaught with diverse and varied vocal lines, their dual-vocal technique works allows both vocalists to showcase a dramatically different timbre. This is particularly effective when so much of their personality is tied to their vocal content, and helps to express their ideas in a clear manner.
Under The Machineel opens with an owl sample which hints at a folksy, psychedelic edge, but this turns out to be a red herring; the record is fierce, walking an interesting line between well-produced sludge and formless, angry noise. There are a lot of quirks here, primarily in the belligerent vocals; “Cheetoh” concludes with the repeated refrain “we will fight you” which cuts through the chaos very effectively, as does “you fuckers just don’t get it”, and the strange geological monologue in the swampy “Wasicu“.
These themes are common throughout the record, but the band are as comfortable with fairly straightforward sludge power as displayed on tracks like “No Hell“. These moments are always bolstered by the powerful vocals, the effect somewhere between Buzz Osborne and Yob‘s Mike Scheidt.
The record is compelling and devastating; sonically it hits all the right spots and there’s enough personality to make it stick with you after even a cursory listen. The risks it takes are communicated effectively by the clarity of the mix without sacrificing weight or power, the vocals successful in their own right as well as being backed up by the onslaught of the instrumentation.
The record is interesting and satisfying, much more than just a solid sludge record in a landscape of other solid sludge records. I always felt like Treedeon could be weirder; It feels like they have a lot of bizzare influences (I hear a lot of the Melvins) and I wanted them to embrace them more. Though the risks are taken and pay off, I always got the sense that Under The Machineel could be riskier and edgier. A particular achievement of the record is the clarity of ideas, and having achieved this I’m interested to see how future releases expand on the sound established here.
There’s plenty to make Treedeon stand out and a lot of fun to be had here; a successful record and a good stepping stone to later on. If Treedeon haven’t completely made the album of their career they’ve made inroads, and in the meantime we have all these bangers to enjoy.