What is 'sludge pop,' exactly? Well, beyond it being the self-ascribed name for what Whimz, a duo consisting of Blackwater Holylight's Sunny Faris and Night Heron's Cameron Spies, creates, I can say this: their debut record PM226 isn't just a straight fusion of sludge metal and pop–though, sign me up for Eyehategod with disco beats some other time. Rather, PM226 fuses laid-back rock with aesthetics and principles from both pop music and sludge metal. In the case of the latter, there's a heaviness and slowness here that simply will never fit with popular trends, and the former's influence is what makes this record so damn catchy, full of whimsical melodies, lyrical patterns, and snappy drum loops.

Engraved with abrasive textures amongst glittering landscapes, PM226 weaves a noisier, heavier streak into their warm and hypnotic sound. Gliding synthesizers and ambient textures provide plenty of cloudy vibrancy to mask this darkness, but it's there anyway, and Faris's vocals permeate the dim haze with mystical abstractness. The result is a sound that's so absurdly easy to sink into it feels almost illicit.

While it's obviously not a metal release, there's a complimentary aspect to PM226. I could see (and see myself enjoying) Whimz on a lineup of much more metallic bands without a doubt–never mind the variety, what they've created with PM226 feels like a seasoned complement to heavier fare that's been crafted by expert chefs. Plus, with a live lineup containing members of Yob and Spoon Benders, shit's gonna be plenty heavy regardless.

PM226 released last Friday. Stream the record below and snag the vinyl over on Bandcamp.

Upcoming shows:
November 10th - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
November 12th - Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern [Freakout Fest]



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