Seems it wasn’t so long ago that I was reviewing Longing for Infection, the last album from Cleveland crusty sludge crew Fistula. After that stellar sludge record came out in July, they’re back again already with another seven-track effort, although this one is almost more of an EP, clocking in just over 25 minutes.
Judging by the song titles, there is no shortage of puns and dark humour here. “Serial Vapist” starts off as thrashing D-Beat fury, complete with a breakdown-laden chorus, before taking a turn for the downtrodden just past the halfway mark, going from Discharge to Crowbar in 60 seconds flat. “Promiscuity Ingenuity” is nearly twice as long as its predecessor, and sets a similarly blistering pace before slowing to a sludgy stomp less than two minutes in, with some definite shades of Noothgrush. “Goat Brothel” is more mid-paced, with a distorted attack bordering on black metal… but it’s all over in a shade over 90 seconds.
“Sabbath Wants to do a Split with Me” is understandably the most doomy number on here, clocking in at a sluggish 5:24. I’d say this one sounds a little more like Sleep than Sabbath, though, while the vocals are much closer to Zoroaster. “Tough Guy” is another slow and sludgy one, spanning nearly six minutes. Although they can serve ‘em up low ‘n slow with equal aplomb, Fistula’s at their best when they’re shifting tempos—and we don’t get much of that for the middle 12 minutes. While I’m a big fan of the title, I’d say this is only their second-best record of 2016.