Floor‘s long overdue sophomore full length (after an endless series of smaller format releases) delivers on everything that made this band great the first time. Massive riffs, bomb string earth moving rumble and Steve Brooks’ vocals either spacey and laconic or engaged and up front but always catchy.
Most fans know Steve more for his Torche achievements than the great band that preceded them, but hopefully Oblation will change that. This record is just as good as anything Floor have done before, with “Rocinante” a real anthem that may be my favorite new song from the band. There are just so many good riffs here. Like Season Of Mist label mates Hark (basically Taint 2.0), Floor have made a record that clearly represents a love of playing together. The songs have that vital organic feel, with every snare hit energetic and every song offering great passages.You’ll thrill to each shifting tectonic surge of power from the two downtuned guitar/no bass attack.
“Lord knows, she’s never wrong,” sings Brooks on the massive “Trick Scene”, which rocks like, well, Torche meets Melvins. The awesomely titled “Love Comes Crushing” is also super liberal with a heavilly maxed out daily allowance of doomage. The music sounds like the hull of a huge ship ripping in half and sinking. Then the drum hits crack down. Other high energy songs like the upbeat ‘War Party’ are serious head nodders and easy to lose yourself in. This album has a very high repeat listen factor, with the songs really growing on you. It’s not as raw as the S/T and still feels a bit more subdued than a band with these frequencies would live, but it is nonetheless a real keeper and my favorite thing Floor have done yet.
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“Homegoings and Transitions” features co-vocals from Melissa Friedman and is a great sort of fuzzed out indie summer jam, wistful and yet comforting. Kurt Ballou of Converge did a great job at showcasing the band’s growth, while still retaining the emblematic Floor feel. “Raised To A Star” finds the band a bit more experimental, stretching notes out to their fullest before a galloping punk beat carries it into circle pit sludge pop territory. God damn, this shit must be fun to play. There is a sense they are figuring out who they are now but also exploring old skin with new eyes. As “Sister Sophia” bears down on you with its’ buzzing intro, you can’t help but grin.
I always loved bands like Paw or Fudge Tunnel who could be heavy or rocking but also stretch at the corners expectations of what was allowed. Floor does that beautifully here. “Forever Still” thumps away like DFA 1979 with MBV mopey dreamer vocals! But more than not this record will leave you with feelings of camaraderie or even bittersweet love amidst the warm, distorted waves. Then it all abruptly ends and you are left with ringing ears and a hole in your insides that nonetheless feels like an old friend.
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