ALBUM REVIEW: Wo Fat – The Singularity

With a vision centred around fuzzed-out jam sessions and downtuned riffage, the dynamic trio of Kent Stump (vox / guitar), Zack Busby (bass) and Michael Walter (drums) return for their seventh trip, once again making it sound like being in Wo Fat is the most fun being in a band can be.

Even at their base level existence, when tracks are in their infancy, when the groove is still at warp factor three and the build and pay off is but a twinkle in the collective eye, the exuberance shines through. This is a band who, despite playing within a ball park that doesn’t have the widest boundaries, take joy in continuously smashing it right over the wall.

Making the full use of a CD’s seventy-five minute run time, the seven tracks here see Stump produce his best, most focused, vocal performance to date, particularly on the opening fourteen minute sprawl of ‘Orphans of the Singe’, providing anchors for a band who thrive on extended groove sessions but who instinctively know when a dash of seasoning (a lead lick, a bass push, or a pulse on the drums) or change is needed. ‘Overworlder’ is another great example, as a Metallica crunch and lurch kicks in with the stoner elegy nine-minutes deep, before leading us to a spacious riff-entwined coda.

‘The Unravelling‘ keeps the Talli’ swagger, while ‘The Snows of Banquo IV’ judders as if Clutch and Mastodon had fused and gotten lost together in a musical labyrinth and are pounding riffs at the walls to break them down to escape. ‘Witching Chamber’ lumbers along – a looping head-nodder – and the Fat save biggest gargantua, the Tool-ian sprawling kraken of ‘The Oracle’ to last. Every ounce of their collective musicianship and craft is pulled together in creating a final behemoth that builds from dirge and jangle to fuzzy spirals and a crashing percussive desert, that oversees evolution from a wah-dripped solo into contemplation and back again before finally bringing things home with slabbish fervour.

The success of The Singularity (Ripple) is based on keeping true to the core elements of the band, allowing each member to enjoy freedom within the bare skeleton structure of each song, while being at ease with their song-writing and each other, and knowing when to move things along.

Like a fine wine, baby…

Buy the album here:

8 / 10