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Walk Through Cokegoat’s “Rainbow Valley”

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As a subgenre, sludge has continuously provided diverse and compelling areas for bands to explore. Its roots remain true — Black Sabbath, Black Flag, black tar heroin — but the branches permutate and shift course dependent on who the arborist is. Chicago has been home to a cornucopia of diverse bands waving the muddy sludge flag, from the powerviolence dirges of Weekend Nachos to Bongripper’s nihilistic doom.

Not to be outdone on the originality front, Cokegoat shows up guns-blazing with a three-guitar assault and a metric ton of atmosphere on “Rainbow Valley,” from a new split album with fellow Chi-town muck-mongers Barren Heir. Stream the track exclusively below.

Building upon the textures of 2016’s Drugs And Animals, the sextet brings a noisy, abrasive edge to “Rainbow Valley” with some Unsane riffing filtered through a Neurosis prism. Rebekah Brown’s keyboard work adds real depth to the song; it doesn’t just fill in the gaps, because there aren’t any. As her vocals slowly creep in, the keys swell to match the guitars in the mix, and the push/pull of the instruments creates a whirlpool of sounds utterly unique to this genre. The song never falls into the sludge trope of repetitive drone, moving “Rainbow Valley” along without dwelling too long on any one idea, until it reaches its endless, isolated coda, not wanting to let go. It’s progressive without being “proggy,” and metal could do with more of that.

Cokegoat’s split with Barren Heir is out June 29th — preorders are open here. Follow Cokegoat on Bandcamp.

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