Thou/Kowloon Walled City



by Ryan Kroner USER (29 Reviews)
May 3rd, 2012 | 6 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It may be only a twelve-minute, two-song 7", but "July" kicks off this year's inevitable flurry of Thou-related records with great class, precision, and execution from both bands involved.

This split 7" between San Francisco Bay Area sludge act Kowloon Walled City and characteristically prolific Louisiana doomlords Thou kicks off the 2012 season of Thou-related releases with great precision and execution, and a level of uniqueness that is uncommon among similar cover albums. Part of a series of splits called Hell Comes Home, Kowloon Walled City contributes a cover of Low's "July," while Thou puts out a rendition of Soundgarden's "4th of July," and both covers absolutely do the originals justice while simultaneously adding flourishes unique to the two bands involved. The first of the two, an interpretation of "July," a song initially written by Minnesota slowcore act Low (appearing on 2001's Things We Lost in the Fire), is a far cry from the crushing, tormenting wall-of-sound characteristic of Kowloon Walled City's other output. This may be primarily due to its utilization of guest vocalist Lisa Papineau, whose relaxed, airy cleans give the cover a feel that lacks the heaviness that would usually be expected from the band. This, however, is by no means something that hurts the cover: in fact, the overlaying of soaring female vocals atop filthy sludge riffs complements the song, giving it a reverence for the original that may have otherwise been lacking. This relative lack of heaviness - it is by no means a light song - also serves to set up the much more intense cover that follows. Thou are, as always, in top form as they provide a typically excellent rendition of the song "4th of July," originally performed by grunge legends Soundgarden on their 1994 hit Superunknown. Like Kowloon Walled City, Thou choose to utilize clean vocals on their cover, yet unlike the former, these cleans are accented by vocalist Bryan Funck's tortured, slightly blackened shrieks. This devastating interplay of vocals combines with Thou's signature plodding, downtrodden, swampy riffs and a couple of short-but-sweet solos courtesy of guitarists Matthew Thudium and Andy Gibbs to craft a truly exceptional cover that stands out even among the extensive catalog of a band that consistently churns out extremely well-made covers. These two tracks, one a mildly psychedelic Low cover and one a skull-crushing slab of Soundgarden worship, coalesce to make July one of this year's most well-executed splits to date, creating anticipation for the rest of 2012's inevitable flurry of Thou records while hopefully sowing interest in the slightly less well-known, but also excellent, Kowloon Walled City among listeners and fans.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
May 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

check it. short review for a short split.

Digging: Rivers of Nihil - Monarchy

May 3rd 2012


love this band...

while I'm sure they'll release plenty of EPs and splits this year, are there any plans for another full-length?

Digging: Dr. Dre - Compton

May 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, it'll be called Heathen. They've been playing a song off it called Free Will at their shows for a while. Check their website: it has its lyrics.

They also have a 7" with Hell out right now.

May 3rd 2012


nice, I'll have to check all of that (and this) out

May 3rd 2012


Sweet I'll have to check this out, I thoroughly enjoy both of these bands.

Digging: Human Bodies - No Life

May 27th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Just found this on bandcamp. Both songs are so, so good!

The Lisa Papineau guest vocals on Kowloons' version is fantastic!!

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