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Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Oct 6th, 2014

The Oxford Coma: Morphine

morphineThe Oxford Coma
Morphine
(self-released)

Vocalist Billy Tegethoff says of his band The Oxford Coma’s new EP, Morphine: “These songs are about grief, loss, death, and deeply personal experiences.”

These songs are certainly dark and in the vein of such bands as Tool and Nine Inch Nails. The staccato frenzy of “My Riad” features drummer Anthony Chamberlain and Tegethoff’s screaming; there’s some blistering doubling-up of the attack near the end of the tune that’s really effective. “Tradition” is especially tight in the beginning verses with a snapping bass from James Williams and those great toms from Chamberlain again and then it gets all overdriven. It’s still good, but I liked the tightness and low stuff before things explode each time before the bridge and chorus. We also get the first real Tegethoff lead here.

Still at breakneck speed, but with slight chanting-like backing vocals roiling around an acoustic guitar and the chunking of Williams’ bass, we get “Grindestone,” the best of the tunes here. Those restrained verses and then the open wailing and Tegethoff’s screaming play off one another with the usual band explosions in the chorus to create some real light and dark shading. Things get wildly heavy and progressive midway with a slamming jam with the trio stretching their prog metal wings and Chamberlain playing a Terry Bozzio mode. This was something I did not expect. We have some chords being played on the bass (with a meaty pedal effect) as Tegethoff whisper-sings the verses of the last tune, “Black Balloons.”

Morphine is a tight little EP from Oxford Coma, well worth checking out.

You can listen to the EP here.

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The Oxford Coma: Morphine