Molasses Barge are a Pittsburgh-based doom metal band whose music does in fact sound like an immense viking ship cutting its way through a sea of thick, dark liquid.
The title track off the group’s new album, A Grayer Dawn (Argonauta Records), opens with a rollicking, stomping riff that evokes the stride of a metallic elephant (don’t impale yourself on its iron tusk!) before ceding the floor to a killer wah-wah guitar lick. Soon, vocalist Butch Balich lets loose with a series of gale-force howls, lamenting a life spent “always close to that first step” that “just begets more blocked routes.” Anyone who’s ever been stuck in a vicious cycle–be it a deleterious habit, toxic relationship, dead-end job, or what have you–will be able to understand the anguish. Considering the realities of our current quarantined situation, Balich’s description of a “cyclic world revolving” hit me especially hard. Every day feels like it’s both a Sunday and a Monday, my cat has taken to clawing me for no reason, and I legitimacy forgot what season it was today. Let “A Grayer Dawn” be a source of catharsis in these disorienting times.