Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Arc (Relapse Records, 2016)
Though Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s genre of choice has always been grindcore, there’s something endearing about their stabs at sludge and doom metal. Arc, their latest EP, is a minute collection of Sabbath-inspired guitar licks pushed through a set of Orange full stacks. Though Agoraphobic Nosebleed bring nothing that sludge metal pioneers like Melvins haven’t brought time and time again, Arc’s guilty pleasures lie in its southern rock twang; opener “Not a Daughter” resembles a collection of discarded Down riffs before settling into an effective, slow-churning groove. There’s also singer Katherine Katz, whose vocals are absolutely feral and dripping with anguish. In the end, it’s Arc’s modest thrills that help Agoraphobic Nosebleed mildly subvert expectations, its derivative nature finding some form of validation.
Trial Track: “Not a Daughter”