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Upon searching for some bands who incorporate both doom and stoner into their music, I came across this American four-piece band, Lesbian. Whilst most people seem to complain about the name of the band, i've never seen anyone complain about their music. What seems a little strange to me is the fact that, apparently Lesbian, who have been together for several years, have only released one slab of material. 'Power Hor' is the debut everything, it would seem. There is no trace of demos or anything else, other than this one full-length, which was released some time this year. I haven't seen the date of the recording anywhere, or when the material on 'Power Hor' was written, so there is a chance it could be a few tracks taken from the 'old days'.
'Power Hor' intrigued me because of it's genre tag. Lesbian are another band that like to cross genres over with one another. Taking aspects from one and blending it with the next. It's one heck of a risk, but 'Power Hor' is a strong full-length. To me, it stands firm as an indication of what this band may be able to achieve in the future. Hopefully, if 'Power Hor' achieves success, which it seems to be doing, then the fame won't go to the band members heads. Instead, they will continue on this solid road they have taken. The influence of the doom genre appears to be the biggest. Lesbian are content to slowly drive their music forward, as opposed to sharing with us a few poor selections of fast paced songs.
The ability to be able to slowly build momentum is a necessity for Lesbian considering the fact that all four songs on 'Power Hor' are considerable in length. There are times when you could perhaps wish that the band would take a bit of risk when it comes to the pace in which they play. For the most part, it's mid paced and when it changes, it usually evolves into walking pace. Slow bass riffs are what 'Power Hor' stands on. The bass offers Lesbian a platform for driving their music into the heart of the audience.
The bass, although where Lesbian seem to build most of their songs from, isn't the most important part of their music. Vocals aren't especially important either. This is a fact that may discourage some from listening to Lesbian. They are a band that focuses more on rhythms than the effect a good vocalist can have on the proceedings. The use of a rhythmic guitar is imperative to this. It creates a distinctive groove throughout. You'll find yourself nodding along to those grooves whenever they appear. However, the slow nature of the songs tends to detract from these grooves. The guitars, bass and rhythmic sections have a tendency to stop when in full flow. They allow the distortion of the riffs to take over. This isn't particularly inviting. The more Lesbian take their foot of the gas, the less likely people will want to continue. The atmospheric qualities tend to stutter every time Lesbian take a break.
Atmosphere is where metal really shines. Lesbian are another one of those bands who invite atmosphere into their lives. The introduction to 'Loadbath' is a particularly fine example of this. The lead guitar strikes up a good relationship with both the bass and the rhythmic guitar. One being layered over the other, both playing their own riffs simultaneously. This style adds some innovation to Lesbian. The progressive nature of their music is appealing. Intricate atmospheres, weaving in and out of one another create a largely pleasing sound. 'Power Hor' is more relaxed than energetic. As I said, there is no rush in getting anywhere. Musicianship plays a big part in the success of 'Power Hor'.
If i'm honest, i'm a little disappointed with the lack of elements the stoner genre has to offer on this full-length. The vocals, when they play a part, aren't particularly stoner metal inspired. They are seemingly taken from the doom metal genre instead. Low pitched growls, which a rasping quality is what Lesbian have adopted. They suit the lower sound Lesbian have, but not the more melodic sections, which is disappointing. I can't see much reference to the stoner genre at all really. Perhaps it comes in the form of the low driving sound? I don't know.
The percussion side of things isn't highly important to 'Power Hor'. It's the other instruments that add the epic sound to Lesbian, not the drums. The drums simply exist behind everything else, perhaps attaching a more aggressive sound to Lesbian, which in truth, doesn't have much of a place. The vocals aren't prominent enough to fit well beside the percussion aspect of things. 'Power Hor' is however, a very decent first offering. With it's progressive touch and melodic styling, Lesbian have created a very enjoyable album. Only time will tell whether they can keep it up or not.