Shallow, North Dakota - This Apparatus Must Be Earthed (1997)
Another album that was on the cusp of being in my top twenty. This is probably one of the best hardcore/sludge albums I’ve ever heard and no one here has probably ever heard of it. Shallow, North Dakota are in fact from Hamilton, Ontario. Why that name, who cares? The only thing that matters is that when this album wants to be fast it is blistering fast, and wants to be heavy it is heavy as fuck. To give you an idea, seven songs plow through in a little over seventeen minutes while the other three plod along in around twenty three. It sounds like it was recorded live in studio too, which gives it a wicked raw sound. And some songs sound like they don’t even have a guitar but two bass’ instead. They’re probably one of the greatest live bands I’ve ever seen too. I saw them opening for Sons of Otis at the El Macambo in Toronto in late 1999 and they were incredibly heavy. And during the show the guitarists amp blew a head, so while he found and set up a new one the drummer just pounded his one symbol at a very slow, plodding pace. I mean he was pounding it so hard I was surprised the thing didn’t snap in half. After the amp was fix the guitarist strummed the same D-chord for about five minutes before the next song started. You had to be there, but it was surreal! I don’t even know if they’re still around. Their massive drummer/vocalist (three hundred pound plus Tony Jacome, who used bass drums as toms) seemed happier working in the Hamilton lumberyard than trying to be a rock star. And bassist “Biff” was climbing the ladder at Blockbuster the last time I spoke to him but that was fifteen years ago. I think they may have released a vinyl only album in 2004 but I don’t own a record player so I’ve never heard it.
Favorite Song: Speed King
(the song starts at 6:29 of the video but you may as well enjoy the rest)