Wading through sludge with Under from Stockport

UNDER – Stop Being Naive

Band: Under
Title: Stop Being Naive
Year: 2018
Country: United Kingdom
Label: APF Records
Contacts: Facebook  Bandcamp  Instagram  Spotify

  1. Malcontents
  2. The Climb
  3. Traitor’s Gate
  4. Big Joke
  5. P.Irving
  6. Grave Diggers
  7. Happy
  8. An Inch Of Sun
  9. Circadian Driftwood

I can’t deny that the name Under isn’t exactly one of those that stick to your mind, especially now in the age of SEO, as hundreds of words and names strive to gain some attention in our crowded and constantly bombed mind. And yet the trio from Stockport (Manchester area) didn’t shy away from this kind of troubles, persevering with notable simplicity on the road of discomfort.

Stop Being Naive is as thick as a swamp, as dirty as clogged up pipes, deeply unhealty, but not devoid of a certain variety of style anyway. In fact, the English trio seems to have learned its lessons from big names such as Melvins and Alice In Chains, though managing to create a very personal work. Cantrell’s influence is particularly strong in the collective approach to vocals (“The Climb”), but also in the extremely rotten guitar parts played by Simon Mayo. The lyrics, written by bassist Matt Franklin, deal with troubles, suffering (quite a lot of, as we can also see in the video of “Traitor’s Gate”), at times interrupted by some sort of comedic nonsense (“Grave Diggers”).

There is no shortage of more rock-oriented moments, as in the beginning of “P.Irving”, but Under won’t let us be quiet for too long. Quite the opposite! There is some quasi-hardcore dirt in “Happy”, yet another demonstration of their deep knowledge of bad music, but here too the English band doesn’t rely simply on one genre for the whole song. The futile hope of finding some rest in “An Inch Of Sun” melts down in a suffocating chaos, before letting the curtains fall with “Circadian Driftwood”, one of the fastest songs of the album.

With Stop Being Naive, in about fifty minutes of putrescence, the trio from Manchester went on to conquer some more space in the stoner/sludge scene, through screams and malcontent, proving to be one of the main acts on the emerging British label APF Records‘s roster.