Looking for a short blast of doom that may have slipped under your radar last year? The Uzala / Mala Suerte split 7”, released on November 20th, 2012 through King of the Monsters Records puts forth an offering from each; the newborns and their independently experienced doom brothers.
With a background in the Texan hardcore community as Tertium Quids, Mala Suerte’s experimental blend has shifted with the times as their life outlooks become ever so bleak. With a blend of both new and old members, their roots ground them as they slither down and out into a sombre bout of dreariness.
The introductory sway of down tuned guitars, light drum rolls in a contradictory upbeat tone meet at positive merger. Mala Suerte mixes the elements of traditional doom with a modern day message of corporate governance over the people and the struggle forward to liberty, crushing the system meant to destroy us.
The harmony vocals seemed superfluously tacked on in most places where more commanding leads would have been equally, if not more effective. Why did they have to go for the ‘everyone on lead vocals’ tactic in Bananarama fashion? Around 3:30 where the tracks intensity attempted to build, it fell flat, leaving the heavy riffs and drumming too buried beneath the vocal tracks. I guess I’m just not a fan of Gary Rosas’ vocals in general. They’re fine but fine doesn’t capture me and pin my ears to the speakers. It’s more of the doom elevator music effect, if that were to be a thing.
Boise, ID/Portland, OR’s Uzala’s contribution to the split spilled a body trail over from left ear to right, oozing out in haunting moans of strewn guts, capturing you in the slow burn of rebirthing phoenix fetuses under meddled skies of steady psychedelic pulsation. With less of a depressive rock vibe than their self-titled debut it still had me fixated and swaying to their stretched taffy guitar riffs and tickled tong vibrations of Darcy Nutt’s charming vocals. My only complaint was the levels at 4:01 where a guitar veers out or right field obnoxiously, throwing off the rhythm that drummer Chuck Watkins had so graciously been keeping.
I’d have to say this split is… wait for it… a split; Half worthy of your ear and the other only tolerable over beer. I seem to be one of the only reviews has given this split a hard time but you’re the judge of what lends to your ear.