Comatose began in the winter of 2019 / 2020 with a group of musicians, Adam Carroll (guitar, vocals), James Benson (guitar, vocals), Daren Menz (bass, vocals) and Jacob Carlson (drums) to construct a blurred, grungy, post-metal mix of audio delight. The fellas are currently or have been part of bands that include Fail To Decay, Chrome Waves, Lion Sight, The Boy Will Die and Amiensus. Comatose was chosen as the name of the band as a result of being a part of the lost generation. As James Benson relates” Faced with multiple major global economic crises, domestic racism and terrorism, a pandemic, and climate change, it only felt right to choose something that reflected the mental health of an entire generation.”
`Circles` opens the album with pounding drums, fuzzy guitars and vocals almost floated atop of this musical cacophony. It`s a sort of recurring spiral of noise that concludes with some quietly shared rhythmic guitar chords. Although there`s an expansive heavy vibe to `Gone` the vocals have an almost psychedelic quality when shared. I was quite sucked in and mesmerised and a little taken aback when it faded out as I was so captivated.
`Alone` is a much faster paced offering that has a lighter rockier touch with a narration that seems to assert that we`re in this together and things are ok. There was a dreamy almost ambient texture to `Skin` which I had to say had me drifting away at times.
`Spread` is another fast-paced track with quite bleak lyrics that seem to encompass mortality and an indifference as to what happens after you`re gone. The vocals seemed almost buried in a wall of sound. We enjoy a quiet beginning to `Inside` which becomes pretty entrancing before we have some growling vocals midway through then returning to where the vocals float almost obscured in a vibrating plethora of reverberation.
`Further` races along at speed sharing some belligerent guitar riffs with vocals that are incomprehensible in a blanket of controlled noise. It does slow down towards the end with some screamed expressions that were beyond my comprehension. The album closes out with Sinking` which is probably one of the most melodic and more instantly assessable numbers on the release. It has pounding drums, throbbing bass with crashing guitar riffs and when the vocals join it becomes quite a bewitching listen.
There was so much to enjoy from this Minnesota based atmospheric rock, grunge gaze come experimental dream rock outfit. “A Way Back” is certainly not one for the feint hearted but it does have a labyrinthine charm. It`s at times fuzzy, bleary, distorted, loud and in your face then more delicate, complex, contemplative, and introspective with a soundscape that ebbed and flowed.
If you’re a fan of bands like My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Dinosaur Jr but with a bit of bite and turned up to 11 these are your guys.