Early Man (Small Stone)
by Brian Varney
I’m the sort of person who generally tends to avoid making the Black Sabbath comparison when reviewing a stoner rock band, and I’ll tell you why. It’s the most obvious comparison made when reviewing these bands, and most times it’s made out of sheer laziness and/or ignorance more than anything else. Most of the time, these bands simply do not sound like Black Sabbath. No one does.
BUT… Tummler really do sound quite Sabbath-like at times. It’s not that the two bands are especially sonically similar, and singer Brad Buldak’s yowly vocals aren’t especially Ozzy-like, but the similarity really comes into play on something like “Planet Moai,” whose monolithic riff crawls sloooooowly over a stone floor for eleven minutes or so like the song “Black Sabbath.” It’s the sorta thing that’s likely to bore your average listener to tears, but for those in the audience who appreciate and covet the half-speed lurch of their own doom, it is ambrosia itself.
Fortunately, the whole album does not stick to this course. Don’t get me wrong, I like a head trauma caused by excessive blows from the granite doom bludgeon as much as the next fella, but I sure as hell don’t need a whole album of it. Luckily, it seems, neither does Tummler. Opener “Shooting Blanks” approaches actual uptempo status, the kinda tune that’ll probably cause a speeding ticket or two during its time. Another pleasant surprise is emotional centerpiece “Arlo,” which is, shock of shocks for those of you with an attitude about stoner bands, a good song. Y’know, with pre-choruses and everything!
There are two unlisted songs on the disc, which is sorta annoying (I mean, if the song’s worth putting on the disc, isn’t it at least worth mentioning?), but they’re both pretty good and they’re each on their own track so you don’t have to skip through 25 minutes of dead space to get to them.
(PO Box 02007 Detroit, MI 48202)