(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
Maryland Doom… it sits in high regard here in the U.S., as well as the rest of the world. I won’t bother to name-drop all the bands inevitably linked to that scene. We are here to discuss only one today – Baltimore’s Gateway To Hell. The band released their new 5-song EP, “Clovers“, just today (July 21st) via Unholy Anarchy Records.
Delivered with a heaping-over helping of southern-tinged musicality possessed with dark overtones, this is music for the nod scene. Those that find themselves uncontrollably head banging along, albeit a bit more slo-mo style, when there’s a densely heavy riff being brandied about.
If that is you then by all means, this is definitely for your listening pleasure.
Jerrod Bronson (vocals), Dan Petruccelli (drums), Alex Briscoe (guitar) and Eric Responsible (bass) wield a fat, fuzzy-fueled sound. Riff-driven grooves, locomotive rhythms, and whiskey-drenched, gravelly vocals give as good as it gets here.
With a B.T.O. or Molly Hatchet-meets-The Mighty Nimbus sound, the lads kept it loose and fancy free. Thick heaviness holds fast for the most part, but there are melodic touches at times and that formula more than works here.
As for the subject matter and overall inspiration behind the EP itself, the band offered the following saying:
“Most of the songs we write are based around inside jokes that eventually snowball into a twisted story backed by catchy riffs. For instance, the title track started out as a reference to an episode of the show Review, where the main character has to go to jail with their imaginary friend named Clovers. From that joke, the song morphed into a reflection of the masks we wear to impress others, whether that be an uneasy performer onstage or an overwhelmed friend going through the motions of life.
Clovers is equally inspired by the life of Paul Stanley and your average childhood imaginary friend – both burdened to live up to the expectations of others in the face of the grim realities of life. Musically, we wanted to conjure the quiet before the show, followed by the rush as the curtains get pulled. By the time the solo rolls around, you’re comfortable in your groove and have finally become the anticipated entertainment of the night. At the end of the song, the show’s over, and you’re left alone with your insecurities.“
Don’t go all to pieces yet, as the “Clovers” EP is available for streaming in full below (and for purchase here). .
So, dive on in and see what you think about the latest salvo of Maryland Doom.