Regardless of what musical genres you pursue, there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as when you stumble upon a band who sound purely homegrown and have strayed from the set path of their respective genre. One such band is Wigan’s Boss Keloid, who certainly raised a few eyebrows with their 2016 debut Herb Your Enthusiasm. As the moniker suggests, it was a weed-ravaged, monolithic introduction to an act who have strayed from the green light of atypical progressive stoner doom to forge their own path and sound. Fast forward a few years and the act have now signed to the revered Holy Roar Records and are on the cusp of releasing their sophomore record, Melted On The Inch; a record that not only expands on the ideas and themes of their debut, but fully delves into fresh concepts aplenty.
Whilst their debut was fresh, homegrown take on their respective genre, Melted On The Inch is a record that is far more difficult to pigeonhole into a singular genre. Adventurous and enterprising, Melted On The Inch not only takes inspirations and stimuli from the widened cornucopia of metal, but from expanded and world spanning realms of music as a whole. Opener and lead single ‘Chronosiam’ ponders thoughts of oriental strings and exotic soundscapes whilst delivering wave upon wave of groove and intense, intoxicating riffs. In relation, ‘Jromalih’ explores jazz and funk scented elements to create a rich, fresh and rewarding listen. This simply is an album so multi-layered, so dynamic and creative that slapping it with a restricting genre tag would be a cardinal sin.
Whilst this may suggest a slight stray from the dank fogs of the progressive doom metal orientated adventures of their debut, their roots and sound are firmly embedded within the genre. Instead, the act have absorbed a wide range of influences from both similar and foreign genres to enrich the progressive doom genre, creating a rich and heavily indulgent experience of engulfing stoner doom. And, of course, the signature riffs of Boss Keloid are omnipresent within this record, but fare more fleshed out and engrossing. They simply go hand in hand with the all-consuming swap of progressive sludge the record spews forth. There’s periods where the record plays host to more reflective and sombre segments where such aforementioned dynamics excel, creating a continuous sense of contrast and juxtaposition. Where the record explores such sonic segments it’s only time before it swells back to sludge and doom aesthetics. A progressive tidal breath of creative and sonic experimentation, Melted On The Inch isn’t a record that’s afraid to explore melancholic, disjointed and triumphant avenues.
One of most forefront elements of this record is the vocal talents of Alex Hurst, a frontman who continuously delivers a tight and flawless performance within this release. With his bolstering baritone technique, he flawlessly animates and fleshes out the lyrical and musical endeavours within this record, delving into gravelly lows and soaring highs when necessary to intensify the message being conveyed. It’s a rewarding element of a fluid musical tapestry that isn’t afraid to charter parts unknown.
In all, Melted On The Inch is a record that majestically expands on the themes and elements presented within Boss Keloid’s previous efforts whilst bringing the band to new heights. A beautiful sonic outing that not only rejects the stereotypical blueprint of progressive doom, but a record that is set to steer the genre into a more innovative future.