The term ‘duo’ is an interesting one. Well, actually, it’s really not. It feels more like it should be reserved for delusional husband and wife coffee house strummers. Something that Suffolk-based two-piece, Kulk, are most certainly not.
Comprising of Thom Longdin (guitars/vocals) and Jade-Ashleigh Squires (drums/synthesiser), Kulk are like the circuit-breaker that make a shit day suddenly turn out okay.
While kindred spirits (and let’s make no bones about this, they are!) Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs have never shied away from their Black Sabbath worship (Sweet Relief), Kulk dance closer to the world of sludge metal whilst still holding onto their noise-rock roots. Still, they possess that dark sense humour that is common within this particular creative sphere, with song titles such as Goblin Dreams, Day Old Kebab, and Kill Your Local Rapist.
The world inhabited by the Melvins calls for bands like Kulk, but aesthetically, the Suffolk natives have enough scope to project their own hellish slabs of fury.
Which is exactly what Kulk’s sophomore album, We Spare Nothing, is. Following last year’s impressive debut, Here Lies Kulk (again, that humour), We Spare Nothing is an album that contains a more potent venom; an album that spits and roars with buckling walls of sound.
Opener, Shuck, probably doesn’t tell the whole story which Kulk are trying to convey. With stoner jams that flit between loose, mushy interpretations of psychedelia, it’s a sordid rumble that leads us into the bowels of this derelict haunted house.
The hypnotic drone metal reverie of Forgetting Is Your Blessing and the abovementioned Day Old Kebab are a shambolic, noisy mess that would even reduce the hardest tattoo-leaden beardo to tears. Both tracks provide a solid foundation for album highlight, the retina-scorching Lives For One.
With a swerving rhythm and killer groove that could have made its way onto Neurosis’ Times of Grace, Lives For One sees Kulk completely applying the flamethrower treatment to their listeners.
Barely able to catch our breath, Lone Individual sees Kulk with their foot still firmly planted to the metal, the track like a simmering pot of rage that explodes, providing a vitality the likes of Hey Colossus have been gifting us for the last 10 years or so.
We Spare Nothing highlights the intensity of a band with the bit between their teeth. Kulk have wheeled off a winner here and one that can be added to other fine U.K. metal releases over the past decade.
For those who thought Pigs X 7 glammed up their sound too much on Viscerals, fear not. With We Spare Nothing, Kulk have mollified your anger and disappointment in the best possible fashion.
We Spare Nothing is out now via Hominid Sounds. Purchase from Bandcamp.