I mean I'm kind of legally required to sing the praises of an album with a song title like "Elephuck" Netherlands have been known for years now for their unique brand of sludge and piercing vocals that seem to transcend so many of their peers. Beyond that though there is something very punk rock about what Netherlands have done on Audubon. The pulsing chaos and piercing destruction that the band revels in on Audubon so happily is stunning and has me coming back and turning it up time and time again.
The balance of styles, be it the almost poppy choruses or Flipper inspired riffs is jarring but Netherlands manage to pull it off in a way that doesn't come across as overtly eclectic but rather strangely organic. Audubon captures the imagination because it shows that anything is possible in a sludge metal context. In many ways the balance of the vocals represents a delicious knowledge of dark and light. The precious vocals on Elephuck contrasted with the sludgy riffs is stunning and allows you to fully immerse yourself in a sound that seems to have come from outer space and could change the world.
Audubon is forward thinking sludge metal that hints at what the genre can be. In a world where sludge has become repetitive and dull Netherlands are pushing for a way forward, finding absolution in a soundworld that many bill as mere suffering. Poppy and elegant whilst also barbaric and demented this is the kind of album that encourages you to pull apart the boundaries and dive deeper into a genre that is quite frankly stagnating. Netherlands are the sound of tomorrow, and Audubon is their definitive statement.
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