(Noise Appeal Records 2009)Striggles - Aloha

On their sophomore full-length release "Aloha," The Striggles aren't fooling anyone. With a bright, somewhat odd album cover and a heavily pounding, sludgy sound, Austrian band The Striggles seem to be tilting their hat, appreciatively, with a nod and a wink, to the Melvins. And, really, who could blame them? These days The Striggles are just one in a long line that has formed to worship at the Melvins' altar. At least The Striggles aren't coy about it.

The Striggles aren't in any rush as they dig in with heavily pounding riffs on tracks like "Ease It" and the more grooving instrumental "Naiv." "Up To Me" rips through the room like a tornado: fast, chaotic and loud. Elsewhere the heaviness fades into the background for the the twangy and unhinged guitar on the slow and loose "Dull & Lazy" where the instruments all but drop out for the vocals on the verses while those vocals become falsetto for the start-stop rhythm of "Jack," perhaps the album's only "poppy" track. Be sure to check out closing track "Lord," too, as it creaks and scratches for seven minutes with a somewhat industrial-sounding experimentation.

The Striggles spend "Aloha" focusing on full-length songs but when they decide to play around and experiment, the result is just as strong. The Striggles have the skill to avoid being pigeonholed with their Melvins-like sound but they don't venture too far from it either. The result is that "Aloha" is consistent and extremely likable.