Though they’re actually from a small town somewhere north of the city, I’ve had the chance to see Familiars open for a whole buncha heavy/stoner rock bands in Toronto these past few years. The semi-local trio plays a brand of heavy psych somewhat reminiscent of local legends Quest For Fire, though in the live setting, they sometimes seem to lean toward some Sleep worship as well.
Alas, this two-song, 7” EP would probably be more pleasing for fans of the former. A Side “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” wastes no time in settling into a mid-paced stoner/psych groove that’ll get yer heads nodding, with some guitar melodies that bring Mars Red Sky to mind. Vocals are clean, if somewhat coarse, and airy, in the style of QFF or Dead Meadow.
B Side “The Gardiner’s Coming Down” is a bit more upbeat, coming at you with a rolling barrage of riffage at a slightly faster tempo. The verses are a bit more mellow, mind you, with the vocal stylings very much in the vein of Quest For Fire. From there, they throw in a few heavy breakdowns, before the soaring vocals reappear over some pleasantly suitable stoner-style riffs, adding in a desert-rock instrumental jam section toward the end. Nothing wrong with either song at all!