That’s it? Timewarp, the new EP by Montreal doom rockers MOOCH, feels over before it even begins. It’s a damn shame too, because the amount of psychedelic swamp sounds that MOOCH manage to drum up in such a short time is impressive. At only three tracks long, Timewarp wears its influences on its sleeve, especially early Black Sabbath. But really, does anyone really want anything different from a doom band? The formula has worked for almost fifty years, why change it now?
Maybe that was a little harsh. As the EP progresses, MOOCH manage to expand beyond the overt Sabbath-worship. Opening song “Slower” begins with a watery phaser before diving head first into the bog. There’s a hint of Mastodon’s more mainstream material in the squelching noises coming from Ben Cornel’s guitar. By the time the bass takes over (in a tone so close to Geezer Butler’s it may as well come with its own walrus moustache), “Slower” has solidified itself as a track worthy of multiple listens, if only to hear the guitar harmonics in the song’s middle section again. Tasty stuff.
The second song “Low” dials up the blues factor, with a meandering bassline that is cut short by the guitar, crashing in like a slab of concrete through the roof. I must admit I found myself rocking back and forth while listening, caught in the ebb and flow of the song’s hook. The vocalists abandon words completely during the song’s chorus, preferring instead to harmonize like a chain gang on their way to hell. MOOCH demonstrate their tightness during the solo, when the guitar and bass rattle off in opposing directions while still being grounded by a solid central riff. If there’s a song on this EP that will get MOOCH noticed, it’s probably this one.
“12000 Year Itch” is newer sounding then the other tracks, though still a couple of decades off from modern. With warm distortion and red-eyed stoner vibes, this is Desert Rock 101, baby! If “12000 Year Itch” had come out in early 90s Palm Springs, it probably could have propelled MOOCH to the same level as Fu Manchu or Monster Magnet. As it stands, it’s probably the most accessible song on the EP, one that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser when Mooch play Bucketfest 3.0 in July of this year.
Timewarp shows tremendous promise. MOOCH have the potential to release a real banger of a full length within the next few years. This EP will have to satisfy until then.
Written by Max Morin
*edited by Kate Erickson