It was about time for some putrid, hellish sludge to come out from Greece. Damn, the last time I listened something worth was Guinea Pig’s demo from back in 2008 (please leave all your post-atmospheric “sludge” cocktails aside). Thank god, these bong-blessed fellows, called Sadhus (The Smoking Community) are here with their self-titled debut to fill this gap.
Τhese guys are authentic and passionate. It would be a mistake to expect something innovative or original, since their music is a straight decendant of both big sludge schools (see UK and USA, where they perfectly balance between them). But Sadhus just live for it. I don’t know a thing about their backgrounds or every day lives but it’s like sludge is a way of life for them (see EHG, where their music was a mirror to their lives). Another thing I have to give out my kudos for; is the lack of any NOLA references in their attitude as a whole, like Athens is located just next to New Orleans. Not that I have anything against NOLA or the "southern" influences in music, I'm just sick and tired with all the Down (as an example) wannabees believing or wishing to have been born in Louisiana.
Imagine the album as a bag of weed, rolled up in six joints; four big, fatty ones and two quick fixes just to keep you going. “Burned By Hand” initiates the smoking ritual, under a bong’s sounds. A slow-paced track, nicely built and having a couple outbursts, maintaining the right amount of intensity. And right when your head starts to mellow, these perverted cats punch you straight in the face with “Colombian Boat Blues”; which is one of the fastest and shortest songs, along with “Make Me 20 Euros” (where we have guest vocals by 1000mods’ Dani and Lucky Funeral’s Mike). Both songs are quite catchy, having a punk rhythm which although I liked I’d prefer to leave the “n’roll” out and instead follow the crust way. Much more interesting and well-fitted in my opinion. Sludge and crust are quite close in attitude and it has been already proved that they work perfectly together.
The same titled song “The Smoking Community” is indisputably their magnum opus. I wish I could describe it as I wanted to. It’s like a toxic plague spreading all over in slow, torturing pace making your face melt and your eyes pop out. In the second minute, where the intro comes to its end and the vocals kick in… Or in around 5.30… I felt my beard having multiple orgasms. Or I just was too shitfaced.
“Stevaro” is more of a groovy tune having some of the best riffage in the whole record. The closing track, “Bampoola” starts from where “Stevaro” left in order to evolve in a doom-paced onslaught, burning down the last of your brain cells. If there are any left of course…
“Sadhus The Smoking Community” is nevertheless a solid, quality release both in terms of music and production. The songs are well-crafted (my only “objection” was the one I mentioned above about dropping the punk ‘n’ roll) and they have a lot of soul in them (a filthy, sludgy one but still soul). The only downside I could find until now is its short duration, reaching 32 minutes. I think one track more – yes a long one – would be enough to satisfy my apettite.
It will be released in vinyl in the middle of July, being the ideal company as you’re getting fried like bacon under the summer sun. Until then you can check a couple of their songs in their bandcamp page.
Roll fast, play slow and let the Baba smoke.