By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Acclaimed San Francisco doom trio Brume celebrates the release of their highly anticipated second full-length album Rabbits at Thee Parkside Saturday night.
Formed in 2014 by relocated British expatriate guitarist Jamie McCathie (formerly of the London-based sludge band Gurt), bassist/vocalist Susie McMullan and drummer Jordan Perkins-Lewis, the SF band quickly made a mark with the release of their debut EP Donkey. Using the monolithic sound of Sabbath as a jumping off point, the trio still managed to put a unique stamp on doom thanks to McCathie’s creative riffs and McMullan’s soaring melodic vocals. The band also proved it drew on a wide range of influences than the typical doom crew with a sledgehammer cover of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s plaintive folk ballad “Even If Love.”
The EP was subsequently picked up for a limited CD release by British label When Planets Collide, leading to a deal with Dutch metal imprint DHU Records. On its 2017 follow-up effort Rooster — recorded with noted sludge/doom engineer and producer Billy Anderson (Melvins, Sleep, Buzzov*en, High On Fire) — the band’s sound made a quantum leap forward with longer, more dynamic songs full of soulful crescendos that took listeners through an emotional arc few of Brume’s contemporaries could match.
Greater acclaim followed the album’s release, earning Brume comparisons to such established acts as Oregon doom spiritualists YOB and like-minded, female fronted bands Windhand and local stoner doom legends Acid King. The trio was invited to play high-profile shows across the Atlantic, appearing at Desertfest London in 2018 and opening for High On Fire during a string of European dates last year.
The band has remained in productive mode this year, releasing the MMXIX split with Seattle outfit Witch Ripper on DHU last spring (featuring another remarkable cover, an ultra-heavy recasting of the Leadbelly song “In the Pines” that most people know from the Nirvana version on the band’s MTVU Unplugged in New York album) prior to issuing it’s second full-length Rabbits. Its first recording with new label Magnetic Eye Records, the album delves further into moody atmospherics that evoke the cathartic sounds of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Portishead as much as Sabbath. The band also expands its sonic palette on the gorgeous new effort, incorporating more layered vocal harmonies and new instrumentation including piano and cello courtesy of Grayceon’s Jackie Perez Gratz on the somber “Blue Jay.”
For this record release celebration at Thee Parkside in San Francisco Saturday night, Brume invited Gratz to appear with her cello-driven, post-metal group, which last year resurfaced after a long hiatus to release IV, its first new album since 2013. Opening the show is Lowcaster, another SF-based progressive doom crew pushing the boundaries of heaviness with their brand new Ripple Music release Flames Arise that spotlights a compelling mix of crushing riffs, harmonized lead guitars and epic songs.
Brume with Grayceon and Lowcaster
Saturday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m. $8