Shahman - Who Am I? [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Who Am I? [7-inch] (2012)

Concession Records

Those looking for some fresh sludge might be appeased by up-and-coming Canadian act Shahman. The duo's new-ish seven-inch, Who Am I?, has been streaming on Bandcamp since last November, but it's only just now receiving a physical release via Concession Records. The EP offers four tracks, and each one is pretty darn loud.

Opener "Here Within Me" starts off rather quietly, however, with some haunting, contemplative picking. It's all a ruse, though. Eighty seconds in, the band unleashes a whole mess of screaming and pounding that doesn't let up for the rest of the seven-inch. The most obvious connection I can make is to former two-piece Big Business, to the extent that these tracks are sludgy and the vocals ever so slightly phlegmy amidst the screams. But Shahman is a lot looser, to the point that the noise takes on a more hypnotic, ethereal quality. It's not psychedelic per say, but it sure has the same effect at times.

The other three tracks--"Homemade Maps," "In Feeling Nothing" and "Rare Breed"--all pile on post-Melvins sludge. The band's quiet/loud dynamics are at their most jarring on "In Feeling Nothing," but really every song here shreds. All that grinding can get tedious for some, but at just over 10 minutes, Who Am I? never overextends itself. If anything, its brevity invites repeat listens.