The Domain of UnmentionablesAt first blush, the name Nether Regions sounds like it refers to a dark and forbidden territory. But then the meaning of butts and genitals pops into mind, and then I'm not sure what to think of it.
Anyway, the band is purely a product of the Internet age, where labels are no longer an absolute necessity for getting your music out there, and regional scenes don't stay within their own (nether) regions. While the label-less band is based out of Portland, Oregon, their style is clearly drawn from the Savannah, Georgia scene. This may be of interest to those who were disappointed by Baroness's change in direction.
The band released their debut full-length Into the Breach last year. Their sound is progressive sludge in the vein of Static Tensions-era Kylesa and Red Album-era Baroness. Tribal drum patterns underlay sludgy riffs, while more adventurous leads play over the top and a rough-around-the-edges clean voice sings along. There are a few memorable parts to the music, although nothing jumps out as a particularly noteworthy track. But that might not be entirely due to the admittedly solid performance, or largely uninspired songwriting, but production.
Apparently, the lack of a label apparently also meant the lack of a good engineer and/or producer. The sludgy riffs don't rumble your guts like they're supposed to, and when you're talking about sludge metal, that's just about a deal-breaker. They also made some unwise choices along the way, like the terrible stereo separation between the guitars on the first track: The leads on that one are way over on the left, which gets really annoying. Don't get me wrong: It's not like the production is awful. It's just frustratingly not good enough.
With better production, I suspect this could be a more entertaining band. Score one for the pre-Internet era, I guess.
The Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars
Buy Into the Breach