PICK OF THE WEEK: Facing uncertain future, Edge pours doom soul into Lumbar’s debut

Lumbr bandWhat if you woke up one day and found out that the things you love to do the most suddenly were going to become a great struggle, if they are activities you’d even be able to do at all for the rest of your life. How would you deal with that, and how would you fill that void in your life?

That’s what happened to Aaron Edge, guitarist, drummer, and graphic designer who played with bands such as Rote Hexe, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Grievous, Hauler, and Roareth when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis earlier this year. The very things he loved to do the most soon would become impossible to carry out as the autoimmune disease spread its pain with him facing a long road of treatments. So he took on the project Lumbar as his final musical excursion where he’d be the brainchild behind what was going on sonically. While some people may have lamented and wallowed in their condition, and understandably so, Edge was having none of that and set out for one last great experiment that would wind up producing one hell of a mind-blowing album with “The First and Last Days of Unwelcome.”.

Lumbar coverEdge wrote and performed all of the music and penned the lyrics, and he’s also joined in the excursion by two huge presences in Mike Scheidt (YOB, VHOL) and Tad Doyle (of the great Tad, as well as Brothers of the Sonic Cloth) who add their own personalities and spirits to the music, becoming ideal partners for helping Edge carry out this project. The music is heavily doom- and noise-infused, although unlike many records from those subgenres, the songs aren’t all that long (the lengthiest is 5:04) and the record itself clocks in just under 25 minutes. That may feel like EP territory for a doom album, but once you experience this, you definitely will not feel short changed. Nor should you anyway. It’s quite a journey to take, and just knowing what Edge was experiencing and that he had to put his whole heart and soul to this final living document adds yet another level of emotion to the album.

By the way, there are a few ways you can grab this album. Southern Lord is offering the record on vinyl and digitally. Holy Mountain Music has the CD and cassette version of the album coming soon, as well as some pretty rad T-shirt choices. All of the band’s proceeds are going to help fund Edge’s medical expenses, so be cool and go buy a copy of this. You won’t just be helping an artist who really needs it, you’ll also getting a really unique, compelling collection of music at that. You really can’t go wrong. See links below for more, and keep checking back for the cassette, LP, and CDs as they aren’t listed yet.

The seven songs simply are called “Day One” through “Day Seven,” and the record begins with a clip from the “Twilight Zone” episode “The Little People.” Then the music opens into spacious doom, Scheidt’s high-reaching vocals erupt and scrape the ceiling, and some bluesy playing slithers in, undercut by vicious growls and drubbing. “Day Two” rumbles open, with noise simmering and hanging in the air, stretching into a full blast of chaos. The song hammers you slowly and impossibly heavily, and the dueling wailing and growling that mix together might make you feel a little dizzy. “Day Three” has some guitar whinnying at the start, and then it dissolves into earth-crushing sludge, with yowls, maniacal shouts, and toward the end, the sound starts to ramp up before is whooshes out at the end. It’s a really interesting track.

“Day Four” gives you more of an early hardcore or noise rock feel, kind of like Unsane or something along those lines, with muddy riffing and shouts of, “Why are you here? Who sent you?” The song is crushing and violent, and it’s the most straightforward, direct punch to your face of all the songs on the album. Then “Day Five” lands like a buzzing, angry nest of insects, spreading ambient noise and haze over its 2:07 running time and a nightmarish experience altogether. “Day Six” lets the classic doom smoke rise, with grimey drone settling behind everything, riffs rising out of the ash bent on devastation, and Scheidt’s wail muscling its way back into the picture and taking everything into the stars. There is bluesy playing, hulking riffs, and another exit into a bed of noise. Closing “Day Seven” is eerie and slow moving at the start, before the bottom drops out and fires begin to rage again. The song might make you feel like the walls of your house and closing in on you and getting ready to fall, and if you have the end of this track raging at full volume within your confines, that might actually be the case. The finish is just devastating, the perfect way to top off this fantastic effort.

We wish all the best to Edge in his future, and thank him for all of his contributions to the music world, including this unreal final endeavor Lumbar. Who knows what the future may hold and what he may go on to do, but Edge, Scheidt, and Doyle make for an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime dream group that will keep its creator’s spirit and fire burning long into the future like it very much deserves. Not to be lame, but, long may you run, Aaron Edge.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/thelumbarendeavor

To buy the cassette or shirts, go here: http://holymountainprinting.bigcartel.com/category/lvmbar

To buy digitally from the band go here: http://lumbarsl.bandcamp.com/

To buy the LP, go here: http://www.southernlord.com/store.php

For more on the label, go here: http://www.southernlord.com/