Year of the Cobra - Ash & Dust

01 Nov 2019 - Thorsten

Stoner-Doom | Prophecy Records | Release date: 01 Nov 2019

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Duos without either bass or guitar have been a thing in the music scene for quite some time, some immensely popular like the White Stripes, some less like Two Gallants, yet there seems to be something about the combination of drums with one of those two that is appealing to a lot of musicians.

Year of The Cobra from Seattle are no exception to this and they are like the converted image of Jack & Meg, because they are really a married couple on- and offstage, they have a female singer and bassist and a male drummer (who is actually capable of more than just trying to keep a straight rhythm).

In a perfect world, this duo would be the talk of the town because they served us Ash & Dust, a hot dish of doom and stoner melodies last November which forces the author of these lines to stray from his usual idea of not writing about anything older than three months. Amy Tung and Jon Barrysmith definitely have the “it”-factor, because they are highly capable musicians that create such a strong undertow that one cannot but lean back and let the delicious waves of stoner-sanded doom wash over him and bury his head deep within the desert where the hot is scorching yet never killing. The fever starts to set in and the listening experience is becoming more and more intriguing. Eight song each showing a different kind of mood yet never losing the thread that is observable with Amy’s magnetic bass skills that is as mesmerizing as her singing performance somewhere between the naive seductress and the vicious femme fatale.

The best thing is that they keep their strongest shots for that moment that we all know on certain records – great opening tracks, pretty decent second ones but then with tracks three to five a certain structure becomes obvious. That doesn’t happen on Ash & Dust; first of all because the songs are all unique (also because of the varying integrated further instruments, like an organ). Secondly, because the way that the duo places the drums within the sound is extraordinary, sometimes they are leading in the way and even more apparent than Amy’s low-tuned, heavily distorted bass, sometimes the cymbals seem really delicate showing Jon’s ability to not just hit as hard as he can. Finally, the use of the bass is striking and similar to Bell Witch’s way of using the bass similar to a hellish piano.