‘Ragweed’ are a sludge-laden rock trio band from Brighton. Drawing from no wave settings but equally from hardcore punk aesthetics, the result is grouped assaults of explosive rhythms. It’s incredibly refreshing to hear a band showing little compromise, and that’s what Ragweed’s sophomore effort ‘Parerga’ sounds like. No punches pulled in sight, this album soars with it’s caustic forgings and vocal honesty …and much like sludge prophets ‘Eyehategod’, Ragweed display that they are as much ‘roll’ focused as they are with raw power. Percussion is crucial when it comes to creating a driving piece of work and it does not fall short here. The rhythm section sounds like it is dissolving under the vocal work, a great quality for a sludge punk band no less. Song structures like ‘Nip The Bud’ make it clear that this band is focused on songs with strong backbones to be played live without difficulty. More is less is definitely true with Ragweed’s successes. Humour permeates all through the album in self-deprecating punkish wonder, (see song titles ‘Dermol Dispenser’ and ‘George Moshington’). The band’s Replacements-like quality is apparent, hearts on the sleeve and laughter. The highlight of this album is most likely ‘Gun Fever’, wherein the sudden tempo shifts pull the band into new pummeling territory, the intricate guitar work and military drum attack constantly cling and separate to the acidic vocals creating an atmosphere that of a sickly lament. If anything, the album is foreshadowing a more dirge like future. ‘Parerga by Ragweed is accessible on Bandcamp and don’t forget to catch them live at The Hope on the 19th!
Ragweed – Parerga