Coalesce Ox EP

Coalesce Ox EP

Leave it to Coalesce to drop one of the finest albums of 2009, then chuck the leftovers at us at the end of the year, reminding listeners and critics everywhere just how good that record was. That's not to say Ox EP doesn't stand on its own as a dynamic, rewarding listen, but it's best viewed as an epilogue, so one doesn't expect another full-blown masterpiece. At seven tracks and just over 16 minutes, the disc is over before it begins, whetting the appetite for a follow-up record that will hopefully come together before the band abruptly break up again, as they have in the past. The metallic tracks here are lumbering, sludgy dirges that steer clear of the hectic mathiness of much of their other material, expanding upon the tasteful blues/Southern elements hinted at on the last two full-lengths. These tracks are book-ended by a series of interludes, eschewing the random noise and sound effects one might expect, allowing some Midwest ambience to buffer the monstrous groove of the record's centrepieces. It may not be the ideal introduction to Coalesce but those enamoured with their sound will see this as the comforting nightcap to Ox's disorienting pub crawl. (Relapse)