Seattle’s He Whose Ox Is Gored is a favorite here at Bearded Gentlemen Music and for great reason. The very talented quartet makes brilliant music, including one of 2015’s best albums, The Camel, The Lion, The Child. Ox is known for their uncanny ability to fuse some of heavy metal’s most daunting sub-genres into one silky, delightful blend. They take all of the best parts of post, sludge, and doom metal with traces of shoegaze and other non-metallic music. There has not been much time off for the group either. They have been getting busy in 2016 thus far, kicking off the second quarter with shows from the Pacific Northwest to the Southwest on top of releasing a new 7″, compliments of Fainting Room Collective’s Triple Six Series. The collection is meant to highlight the incessantly burgeoning creative scene of Seattle and includes a handful of other local talents.
The 7″ from He Whose Ox Is Gored is named Vulse//Static. The A-side features the track “Vulse,” while the B-side offers a tune called “Static”. Lisa Mungo’s voice stands alone on the release this time around, whereas in past efforts, she has been accompanied by Brian McClelland. For Vulse//Static, McClelland sticks to crushing his guitar sections while Mungo does double duty on vocals and synths. Mungo and McClelland are joined again by drummer, John O’Connell, and bassist, Mike Sparks. The four members continue to display wild diversity, as these two new songs exist on two different ends of the band’s spectrum. “Vulse” is the heavier of the two tracks, opening with a thick riff and eerie synths sounding for a brief moment like the song could exist on Oranssi Pazuzu’s newest masterpiece. The tune possesses much more of a progressive metal feel that could have placed it in the middle of The Camel, The Lion, The Child, but moments of the song’s progression also recall the vibe of Crack the Skye-era Mastodon. “Static” exists in an airy state, as the shoegaze and post-punk/hardcore influences present in Ox’s music radiate through this particularly dreamy, introspective track that contrasts brilliantly against the outward burst of “Vulse.”
What Vulse//Static lacks in length, it makes up in insight. This two-song offering continues to show the expanding range in which He Whose Ox Is Gored operates and the vast number of styles the band effortlessly infuses into its sonic bliss.
Thanks to Converse Rubber Tracks studios, the group is working on some more songs with producer Jack Endino, whose influence makes the potential of what this new music could sound like much more intriguing. With these Seattle artisans, the possibilities are nearly endless. For the meantime, Vulse//Static is perfectly portioned to sustain any fan between Ox’s releases.