‘Parerga’ is the debut album from brash Brighton trio, Ragweed. Their sound draws on gritty grunge, metal and punk influences and transports those firmly into the 21st century. The band have also listed the likes of Cancer Bats, Andrew W.K, Tool and Kvelertak as some of their main influences yet Ragweed have crafted a sound that is impossible to put a label on; bringing together edgy, dark lyrics and deep, dirty basslines. They’ve taken to branding their sound, rather amusingly, as ‘Sludge Punk’, but let’s not get too hung up on genres.
Opening track, ‘Black and Scally‘, manifests that perfectly with its abrasive choruses, Tom Adamson’s droning yet captivating vocals and its corker of an opening riff, and really sums up their fabled ‘Sludge Punk’ label.
One thing that becomes strikingly evident from listening to this, and other tracks on the album, is how much noise these guys can make, despite only being a three piece. It’s the case with a lot of rock trios that their sound can appear weak – but not these guys. They’ve done a sterling job at creating a wall of gloriously raucous carnage that envelopes the listener completely – whether that’s down to clever production or something else, is anyone’s guess, but it’s a major brownie point nonetheless.
If big riffs are your thing, then you won’t be disappointed. Fast forward to ‘Dermal Dispenser‘ for, quite possibly, the most infectious riff on the release. In addition to that, the monumental middle section of the track makes it one to lose your mind to. You can hear some more of Adamson’s fiendishly brilliant riffs on ‘Gun Fever‘, which is equally as contagious.
The band also have a flair creating a focal point out of their bass parts, courtesy of Joe Dann. This is especially true for tracks such as ‘Divorce Reality‘, ‘Nip The Bud‘ and ‘George Moshington‘, with the latter arguably being the strongest track on the record owing to that stellar outro, which would undoubtedly lend itself well to being played live.
To tell you the truth, there isn’t one track on this album that we could wholeheartedly tell you is poor, or even just the tiniest bit rubbish. On the whole, this album is essential listening for anyone partial to the odd chugging riff or wild bass melody. Ragweed’s debut album showcases a sound that is totally unique and every inch their own, with tracks that conjure up images of sweaty little venues, packed-out with people losing their minds. Heck, with an album like Parerga under their belts, it’s no less than this trio deserve.
But don’t just take our word for it! Grab yourself a copy of Parerga on August 18, and see for yourselves.