Fange describe themselves as a 'dirty, massive & loud sludge experience', but this is nowhere near as many adjectives to do their music justice. I'd go with 'utterly putrified gargantuan ear-destroying sludge trauma'. Nope, that still doesn't quite cover it.
Formed by members of France's psychedelic fuzz-worshippers Brain Pyramid and Huata, Fange are a far nastier proposition than either. The sound on debut EP Poisse is what you can imagine would happen if Eyehategod pawned all their gear for, well, gear, and had to borrow Entombed's pedals, and were really fucking pissed off about the whole situation.
While the music was obviously what grabbed my attention, it was the presentation of the release that demanded a purchase. With some demented artwork courtesy of guitarist Benjamin Moreau (check out more of his work here), given the space such intricate lines deserve on a VHS-style cassette box, I couldn't wait to snap one up. It took a bit of distro trawling, but I managed to snag one via Throatruiner. So fucking worth it.
The CDs are just as well presented, and still readily available, but personally I'm a tape man.
Opening with 'Grêle Molle', the massive overblown guitar tone is immediately recognisable as the band's weapon of choice, the Boss HM2, which lends their riffs the kind of snarl often heard within the slower end of the heavy spectrum. The everything-in-the-red mix makes you work to pick out discernable details, but the immediate effect is so simultaneously crushing and catchy that you'll have no problem with flipping the tape over and over to pick 'em out.
'Cloches Fendues' rattles along with a ragged groove like a never-quite-healed scar, while 'Ammoniac' takes a more dynamic approach, switching tempo between a punked-up stomp and a sludgy crawl. There's no way to appropriately describe just how fucking hard these tracks hit, you really need to just hit play, stick your head between your speakers and prepare to bang it.
The sludge staples of feedback and samples that eventually become 'Suaire' give no indication of the true horror to be found in the track proper. If when things really begin to swing you're not thoroughly creeped out, then you probably had the sort of childhood that would make Francis Dolarhyde weep. After the mental-asylum-in-the-bowels-of-hell build-up to final track 'Lucifour', you'd be forgiven for fearing one last unlistenable noise assault designed to leave you truly traumatised, but the multitude of Wizard-worshipping riffs ensure Poisse ends on neck-wreckingly groovy high.
While there seems to be a new sludge band cropping up every day, very few of them possess the true spirit of the genre quite like Fange. Encrusted in filth, awash in feedback, full of hatred; this is music to seethe to.
Fange on Facebook | Bandcamp