The prospect of total planetary annihilation in one form or another is something that has stereotypically stuck close to the themes of many stoner-doom bands over the decades. With the political landscape continuously falling into disarray and disrepair, there are currently 13,890 nuclear weapons (that we know of) harboured away, obscured on their existence by heads of state, not unlike like a dragon relishing in it’s prized treasures. With this consideration, it’s fitting that We Are Doomed would be the title of Indica Blues' new record.
Forming in 2014, the Oxford quartet have garnered a hushed, yet praised name for themselves within the confines of the underground stoner scene in recent years. As evidenced by their 2016 EP Ruins On The Shore and their 2018 debut Hymns For A Dying Realm, Indica Blues provide a deeply saturated sound that arches over the stoner-doom spectrum and it’s related sonic stylistics. However, We Are Doomed see’s the band injecting further nuclear energy into their already oozing and bluesy output. Rich with noxious atmosphere and intoxicating ambient density, the group’s latest dystopian venture is a monstrous amalgamation of scorched sound that’s powered by mutated hulking riffs, caustic voyages into doomed sludge and a penchant love for the classic desert rock sound pioneered by Kyuss and Brant Bjork.
Album opener ‘Inhale’ begins with an acoustic riff before getting wrapped in an intoxicating embrace of a fuzz infused frenzy that keeps feeding the beast that’s animated by this release. An intrinsic mix of blues-laden psych with an overhaul of breakneck sludgy doom riffs breathes forth from this record as a whole, with the opener and respective follow up title track enjoying a vivid cinematic atmosphere of singed nuclear devastation. As the record journey’s into the burned riffs of ‘Demagogue’ and the mushroom clouded nature of ‘The End Is Calling’, We Are Doomed throughly harkens back to the aforementioned signature desert rock sound prior to tainting it with a polluted doom embrace that’s reminiscent of Electric Wizard and a throughly stoned High On Fire.
The record’s themes of nuclear devastation aren’t subtle per say, but gouging from it’s album art one certainly expect anything else. Complete with a snippet from one of the haunting Protect And Survive broadcasts that thankfully never saw the light of day during the height of the cold war, We Are Doomed navigates the terrifying prospect of the end of days with slicked style and an almost warm embrace. Through the dense riffs that construct this sound, toxic waste drips forth from the fretwork to add paramount and viscous sludge like sensibilities to the group’s sound. The sandblasting ‘Scarred For Life’ showcases the group’s newfound incorporation of drawn-out sludge tendencies brilliantly, with such tracks envisaging the desert rock sound post nuclear holocaust.
In all, this is a seven track journey of both the end of all things and the inner mechanisms that construct the stoner doom sound. Even with the band’s influences on unapologetic on display, Indica Blues have constructed a blinding record that shines with style, cinematic soundscapes of destruction and subtle genre dynamism. As it’s accompanying artwork implies, this is the perfect soundtrack to climb into a speedster and drive full throttle into the violent heart of the nuclear apocalypse.
We Are Doomed is out now via APF Records.