Review: Thorun – Chorus Of Giants EP
Bill does such a fucking awesome job with the Weekly Bandcamp Recommendations and unfortunately there’s a lot of times where I have too much music to listen to so I don’t bother checking out the new stuff that pops up. I had a quiet week for music one week roughly 18 months ago so I hit up the latest Bandcamp instalment and my world was shaken. I stumbled across a freshly released demo from an instrumental 4-piece from Cardiff, Wales. This prompted a download, a Facebook “like” and a wall post demanding an Australian tour. A little presumptuous for a band who’d yet to land their first gig but as all fans of stoner rock know, some of the greatest bands the world has ever seen can go their entire careers without venturing into another country. Thorun’s EP 2010: Reprise was a revamped version of those original demos re-released in February, 2011 and was easily in my Top 5 releases from last year. So it’s only fitting that when I get the call up to write a review, I selected the artist which had the greatest impact on me all because of The Soda Shop.
Back in November, Thorun unveiled their sophomore release Chorus Of Giants EP. It takes the next step in song writing for the band. Still holding on to the same ideals of solid, heavy guitar riffs they have managed to create 6 tracks which truly gel together as a cohesive piece of work, more like movements as opposed to individual songs. The major difference being that they’re no longer driven only by the riff, as they have opened up a lot of new territories with a lot more mellow grooves. This makes the EP less appealing on the first listen through, but after a couple of spins it’s a lot easier to appreciate the directions these songs take. I’m even going to guess that it will have a lot more longevity than their previous release.
At the risk of becoming a journalistic cliché and relating an instrumental stoner band to Karma To Burn, you can clearly draw some similarities in the way that both bands can take a genre which is typically known for long winded, droning guitar riffs and ensure that the listener is regularly kept on their toes. In fact you could probably say they’re a blending of K2B and Aussie doom icons Pod People. There’s some moments, most predominantly in the opening track Once I Was A Champion which are as heavy as fuck combined with precise song structures, where sections are often short lived. Once you feel like you’re getting settled into a groove they will quickly change it up with either a tempo change or a major shift in the dynamics.
The ironically named, closing track Hipster Circle Pit is a stand out. Firstly, the only circular activity that this song could even possibly inspire would be the act of multiple people sitting in an appropriately shaped arrangement, and passing smokable objects from person to person in a circular fashion. I also don’t see any hipsters listening to this song, ever. Unless it was in some sort of Invasion Of Panama situation because just from the sound of the guitars, they are clearly being strummed below the nipples, the drums sticks are actually being forcibly struck against the drum heads, as opposed to politely being dropped from 6 inches up and the bass is actually playing a rhythm, instead of straight 16th notes for the entirety of the song. You know, all the shit which nightmares are made of to hipster music lovers.
The production on Chorus Of Giants is hard to fault. For those who are familiar with the 2010 EP: Reprise will find almost no changes to the sonic qualities of the band. The drums have a slightly warmer sound on Chorus Of Giants than they do on Reprise, which works well in it’s favour. The mix gives it more of a prog/rock feel than a darker stoner/doom feel but every instrument is clearly audible, without any of them being over powering. In the age of the internet, where choice is endless and a band can lose a potential fan within 20 seconds, Thorun can rest easy in knowing that there’s very little here that will disappoint any lover of heavy, sludgy riffs.