Another album that I've been sitting on too long, thanks to overstretching myself. But enough about my shoddy timekeeping - Australia might well be more known for stadium filling pub rock, a strong underground death metal network, and Peter André among many other delights, but sludge and doom metal? Well, its a little more well established than you think with acts such as Mournful Congregation and Adrift For Days to name a couple, but a sludge/blues metal band with psychedelic itches and urges to rock out? That be Hydromedusa. This quartet fuse all that together on their self-titled album over the course of six tracks, the centerpiece being 'Pemulwuy', a monstrous 24-minute that encapsulates the band's influences into one song, making for an enjoyable stoner metal fest.
As far as the shorter tracks go, it's by-the-numbers stuff but done pretty well. The album starts with the upbeat rocker 'I'll Make it Home' before diving into 'Pemulwuy', which finds its groove early before jagging into a sweet southern sludge groove, peppering some a dash of psychedelia and a heaping helping of blues through the huge chugging riff that makes up the majority of the song. It could easily get stale, and it often does feel like a 'when will it end?' riff, but thankfully the band have enough nous to know where to implement fretboard worship and blues jams.
The remainder of the album flits from psychedelic interlude to more blues metal, including a more straight-up rocker, the hateful 'Pathetic' and another sludge/blues dirge, 'Caps of Tea', although only half as long on this occasion. And with that, Hydromedusa have run the gamut of their influences in one record. It's wide and varied and perhaps lacking slightly in solid direction, but there's more than enough to suggest Hydromedusa are worth keeping an eye on, especially in the way they fuse blues rock and sludge together. Antipodean sludge is obviously alive and well.
Download 'Hydromedusa' here (name-your-price)