I cannot stand Sludge for one hour, because it´s too slow for me. Also I cannot stand Stoner Rock with whimpy vocals, because it destroys the best music. I admire COC and Down for their perfect balance of brutal riffs, groovy rhythms and aggressive and powerful vocals. Why I write this as an introduction? Just to prepare for a little masterpiece of songwriting, timing, power and groove, which hails from Swansea, Wales. Two guys with a sense for a perfect blend to play heavy music with fuzzy guitars - no matter if it is a guitar or a bass - and pounding drums. None of their songs is a catchy tune or a kind of smash-hit. No, all of them are edgy, rough and unpredictable, despite their simplicity.
The record kicks off with the song "Mary" . Its first 5 seconds contains a cowbell, a feedback, a monstrous riff, a swampy groove and a remarkable voice. Nuf said. This song is just bulldozing at 55 mph for 4 minutes, in which you can bang your head and the girls can swing her hips.
"Whip Hand" alternates between Sludge and Heavy Blues, without losing power or groove.
My personal favorite is "Maelstorm Queen", a midtempo rocker and banger, perfectly suited for exceeding the local speed limit on a highway. Yes, it happened to me, otherwise I wouldn´t write about.
"Tides" closes the record. A song which shows the wide musical range of this band. A bastard of an epic southern rocksong with fuzzy guitars, overcrowned by this fantastic vocals and based on a powerful drumming.
Nobody took care about Motorhead´s "Golden Years" EP. Yes, it went into the charts. But.. Just take care for the production, Phil´s drumming, Lemmy´s bass and Eddie´s guitar. This record captured their live intensity more than "No Sleep `til Hammersmith" and the band improved their musical skills since "What´s words worth, Live 1978". I don´t like to give absolute marks for a record. So that´s why Swamp Thief´s first EP rewarded a "Golden Years" for their intensity, power and sense how heavy music is meant to be.