Review: FISTULA – “Loser EP”

By: Ross Gnarly

Fistula are a crushing sludge/doom band from Ohio that has been cranking out vicious tunes for around 10 years now. I was given an advance of their latest effort, Loser EP and right from the start, I knew I was going to love it. The first track, “Picking Up Chicks”, which was released as a single a few weeks ago, begins as a filthy, dooming beast. It soon evolves into a grinding melee of furious proportions only to sink back into the muck that it crawled out of. It is a force to be reckoned with, for sure. Slow, punishing guitar work, steady, thundering drumming and harsh, exquisite vocals make up this bands sound and they execute it oh-so well. It is a beautiful train wreck of malicious sludge and I absolutely love it.

The next track, “I’m Glad Nate’s Not In A.C.” is a quite funny track simply because it’s only 26 seconds long and it consists of a fast, aggressive wall of noise over which the title of the song is repeated over and over. It’s great. I definitely love humor in my music and this band seems to know what’s up.

Up next is the brutally fast and filthy “The Hounds.” This track moves at a nice steady pace. Elements of grind are familiar in this, but not without being drowned in a sea of sludgy goodness. The track slows to a horrifying speed around the two minute mark and things begin to doom! The riffing is terrific. Slow and covered with fuzz and distortion. The drumming is slow and steady, keeping a nice groove. The vocals are covered in muck and sound disgusting, so yeah, they’re amazing also. Considering this track is six minutes long, it is flying by! I guess good shit does that, though. Before I knew it, the track was over and I was tempted to hit the “back” button so that I could hear this track again. But on to the next monstrosity!

“Mutant Tooth” opens with a dirty, fuzzy riff that quickly morphs into a raw-as-fuck grinding beast. Wow, this is great. This first part of the track has a much faster pace than anything before it. Even the slower parts of this section aren’t slow enough to be called doom, I don’t think. This is very similar to some raw hardcore that I’ve been jamming. Before the two minute mark, the track has already dropped into the mud. The vocals remain extremely raw like at the beginning of the track, but with the music’s tempo dropped a shit-ton. Everything still sounds amazing, however. So far, no complains. I love it! Fucking Fistula!

The title track, “Loser” opens with a wall of fuzz and distortion created by some killer chugging riffing and complex, yet not eccentric, drumming. This track is also pretty raw sounding. Once again, not a bad thing at all. Fast tempos and filthy guitar sounds really drive this track. Sometimes sludge bands put out songs that all end up sounding the same, but not Fistula. Every track brings something new and exciting. That is why I love them so much.

The final track, “Coma Forever” begins with a slow, dooming vibe to it. As always, it sounds fantastic. Nice, steady drumming. The guitar work is spectacular. Filthy sludge riffing covered in dirt and grim. The vocals are extremely fierce and raw. I fucking love it. This track also has it’s grindcore-esque moments which tickle my fancy in quite a good manner. I love listening to something slow and dooming that quickly bursts into something fast and abrasive. It’s a beautiful thing. Crushing, aggressive sludgy filth. That is what Fistula boasts and that is exactly what they deliver. I can ask for nothing else. This band puts out exactly what I like my sludge to sound like, and they do so with such flare. Get down to Fistula, unless you’re not cool enough. Sit back, crank it waaaaay up and enjoy the filth! Congrats, dudes. You made a sick fucking record. Dig It or Die!

Rating: 5/5
For fans of: King Travolta, Cavity, Rwake
Favorite Track: “The Hounds”

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