With bylines in a variety of music publications, two books to his name and an impressive discography of music released with bands such as In The Company Of Serpents, Former Worlds and Drainage, JJ Anselmi is somewhat of a heavy music polymath. As such, though he was unable to practice with current band Drainage during lockdown, he was never likely to sit still even as these dire circumstances unfolded around us.
Riversnake is a project Anselmi has played around with in the past, but in 2020 it’s become a fully realised endeavour. “I get pretty burned out on the humourlessness in a lot of heavy music,” he tells us. “So I want to channel the impish spirit of sludge at its roots.”
The result is a new EP of boisterous sludge that leans heavily towards the genre’s early days, recalling the unruly riffs and rough yells of Black Flag. This sound has been absolutely nailed by Eric Burns, who was responsible for the mixing and mastering on the release. “Bands like KARP, Plaque Marks and Flipper have shown us that humour and heaviness are by no means mutually exclusive,” says Anselmi. “Riversnake has been a fun way to explore that.”
The spirit of Frontier Daze, with its troublemaking ethos and ironic patriotism, is perfectly exemplified by Erok Hellhammer’s cover art, but it’s an EP that needs to be heard to be understood (the final few minutes are especially informative), so be sure to check it out below ahead of its full release tomorrow.
Frontier Daze is out 1st October. Order here.
Words: George Parr