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Her Highness : Her Highness/Worthless (Split)

An interesting collaboration between Hungarian Stoner/Sludge bands that effectively lays out their respective stalls.

On the menu today we have the combined Hungarian special of Her Highness and Worthless coming together with their 2016 self-titled split release. Jointly hailing from Budapest, both bands bring forth a healthy dose of raw unbridled fuzz-laced stoner/sludge doom for your listening pleasure. Both outfits consist of duo-teams, with Her Highness formed of Tamas (Bass/Noise) and Andras (drums), and their counterparts Abacs Sicsok (Drums) and Tlozs Nyokev (Guitar) making up the Worthless faction. Of interesting notation is the shorter duration of track lengths than usually represented across the genre - nothing wrong with this of course - and in fact, I almost felt it was the bands' little inner joke to challenge the dogmatism of the genre as they portray in other subtle ways across the album.

Her Highness kicks off the split with tracks 'Demolition of Mind' followed by 'The Budd Dwyer Method'. Both pieces display great bass and drums musicianship between the rhythmic-oriented pair. There is also a really nice jam-like atmosphere pervading their groove-oriented fuzz beats. The sonic quality of the bass guitars really makes a bold, gratifying first impression, shaped to methodical precision and thus resulting in a fat, pulsating and vibrant bass presence. The duo also display intelligent writing in their compositions such as the clean bass/drum passages that start off 'Demolition of Mind' and reappear again around the 3-minute mark. However, I personally did find myself reaching a ceiling with reference to musical engagement as the sparse, minimalistic nature of the band's music may lead some to a plateau of monotony across certain repetitive sections of both pieces. Whether the reasons for this are due to the lack of a melodic/harmonic component (i.e guitars, effects) or within the band's material itself is an area up for debate. All in all though, the band deserves much credit for their successful efforts in creating an engaging listen by purely utilizing rhythm-based instrumentation, complemented further by great sound production.

Where Her Highness perhaps falls short, Worthless fills in the holes formidably by bringing their livelier dynamism and more unconventional musical approach to the table. Both 'Green Dragon' and 'No Home' feature a very organic flow of events characterized by livelier feel and interesting guitarwork that is accompanied by Sicsok's truly phenomenal drumming. Both Sicsok and Nyokev demonstrate a fresh originality and unrivalled level of musicianship. A listen of both tracks clearly show the variation of implemented style and creative potential held by the Worthless duo. For example, the real-time slowing down of their (already heavy) palm-chug riffage on 'Green Dragon''s outro and sudden single-stroke riffage entrance on 'No Home' serve as interesting surprises that reflect the former point on the band's creativity. And this last point most likely being trivial to most, but I personally love the band's incorporation of humour into their music through spoken samples cautioning the listener to beware of green dragons awaiting them on their front doorsteps.

All things considered, I found the split to be a great collaborative effort by both bands. The music is honest, upfront and untainted - thus constituting a truly 'real' no-nonsense offering of Stoner/Sludge/fuzz Doom for fans of this particular style. Both bands have done a wonderful job in putting across an organic and natural performance in musicianship and sound production whilst exhibiting some notable moments across their respective tracks. Jump onto their Bandcamp pages to pick up a digital copy of the split and show them some love!

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
Her Highness
1. Demolition Of Mind
2. The Budd Dwyer Method
3. Green Dragon
4. No Home

Visit the Worthless bandpage.

Duration : Approx. 21 minutes

Visit the Her Highness bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-10-13 by Trishay J Trada
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