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Beggar : Shingles + House Of Man (EP)

A little gem for lovers of Sludge-infused Post-Metal: Beggar's latest EP.

"It's Post-Metal Jim...but not as we know it..." Or is it? Yes it is. Kind of. Whatever it is, it's very good.

Hailing from Bristol in the UK, Beggar play an interesting blend of Post-Core Sludge, with a hint of Grunge to temper their more feverish momemts. Active since 2012, this looks like it's their third release. Opening with a solitary guitar intro, this little EP breaks into life after a minute and a half with first track proper, 'The Shingles', which, if a little familiar in its delivery, is still remarkably captivating in its effect. (Which pretty much sums up the whole thing). Moody, doomy and menacing, you could be lulled into a false sense of security, inasmuch as that this sludgy number is not all that indicative of what is to follow.

Second track 'House of Man' has an intro owing as much to Head of David, or Killing Joke as anyone else, before it pulls itself together and veers off into heavier territory, along with the shouty vocal delivery, which for much of the time is the type of passionate Hardcore delivery reminiscent of Sean Emmons from the now sadly defunct US Sludge mongers Haarp. The punchy, muted riffing switches the pace and dynamic around but with no less menacing a vibe. At times Beggar's music sounds like a sort of lo-fi Pelican, crossed with some of the post-hardcore vibes from around ten years ago. As well, it wouldn't suprise me if at least one person in the band loves their grunge. 'House of Man''s outro has the plaid shirt of Tad Doyle draped all over it.

Wrapping things up with the initial eerie sounds of 'Gravedigger', a clean guitar motif repeats after several sections of thumping Sludge work, and it's merely a few chops and changes before a wandering bassline with feeding-back guitars takes us to...the end! That's it, it's all over, and over far too soon for my liking. Perhaps a little heavier and with slightly less groove than their previous outings, Beggar still maintain their quirky identity within their chosen field. Which these days is as rare as it is commendable.

A limited run of 100, the CD comes with a sticker and a lyric sheet which will keep you guessing long after the music fades. Sometimes all you need are a few tunes to put a smile on your face. Snap up a copy from their Bandcamp page before they all go. This is a little gem.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Intro/The Shingles
2. House Of Man
3. Gravedigger

Duration : Approx. 17 minutes

Visit the Beggar bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-11-04 by Matt Halsey
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