Valume Nob - The Most High
Crash Music
Sludgecore
6 songs (14'47")
Release year: 2004
Crash Music
Reviewed by Alex
Crap of the month

A quick personal reference story. There used to be this metal CD store in Columbus, OH. Every time I was on business there (which happened pretty often in the last three years) I made it a point to stop by, even though I had to drive half way around town. The store was not in one of the sheikh neighborhoods. Dark, dirty and full of weed smoke with metal constantly playing, it was Mecca for a metal fan. I looked out of place there in my suit and tie business attire. At first, the guys who ran it looked at me very suspiciously, but after I continued to show up every month they changed their mind (talking to them about some brutal bands and spending boatloads of cash on some obscure titles helped as well). One of the guys at the counter always bitched to me. The conversation would always go like this. Him - “Man, do I want to get out of the friggin’ place or what?” Me – “what’s your problem?” Him – “I’d rather play in my band.” Me – “What kind of music do you play?” Him – “beer soaked rock’n’roll.” After a while he disappeared for a couple of months, only to come back more sour than ever. On my numerous questions “what happened?” all I got was a brief “it didn’t work out with my band”. Moral of the story – Valume Nob better keep the day jobs if they got them.

I really did not expect an Album of the Month out of this EP, but this is really not very good, even with my expectations not high to begin with. Looking at the picture of four tough “veterans of New Orleans hardcore scene” I knew the platter would not dazzle us with violins and arrangements, but some decent southern fried rock could have hit the spot. Instead, we get a quick dose of beer soaked (oh, yes, the term applies) sludgecore. Thankfully, The Most High is short, only four studio tracks and two live cuts.

I would not lie and say I am a sucker for Down or Crowbar (the bands donating Valume Nob its members), but at least those guys had energy and were making it hard’n’heavy. Valume Nob lacks those attributes and production is definitely a part of the problem. It is surprising how weak the drum hits and kicks are and I had to turn the volume up quite a bit to hear the vocals. Not that they are a main attraction, but I thought it would be cool to hear the guy scream. With volume up to 9,5 out of 10 in my car, guitar and bass combo of Valume Nob become total mud, therefore “sludgecore” term is quite fitting. Not that I was looking for melody or anything, but individual chords/riffs are indecipherable on this offering. Considering a couple of rhythm slip-ups on less than blinding speed portions of Pleasant Memories and Together as One, the only track that had me somewhat bobbing my head with approval was Boots. Speaking of the production, the two hidden live tracks sound almost exactly the same as the studio cuts, if not cleaner. Apparently, the band is trying “to capture” their live sound. On the visual and lyrical side, the nod to the redneck population of some southern US states is suspected. It could be my wild imagination, these lyrics are difficult to make out, but I think I hear “prick in his ass” on one of the live songs.

I could be wrong with my negative opinion, as those live tracks must have been recorded in front of some audience, meaning that at least in Houston, TX, Valume Nob has a following “busting some fucking skulls”. Good for those guys, they must have fun at Valume Nob shows. I doubt you would find me there.

Killing Songs :
I really didn't like any one of them
Alex quoted 25 / 100
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