If you’ll indulge me I’d like to start with a personal story. Back in my school days, when you could count the amount of metal fans in my class on your hands - not your fingers, your hands - the more, shall we say, uncultured element of my peer group would find it hilarious to ask the name of your favourite band, then make a weird approximation of the devil horn gesture before grunting said band name back at you and headbanging as if this was a) a magnificent piece of satirical japery and b) somehow a devastating insult. One day I decided to see what would happen if I gave them the most ludicrous band name I knew at the time - Raging Fuck Death - after a brief flicker of confusion across their faces they carried on regardless. I’m not really sure if anyone came out the winner of the whole unedifying spectacle but, my God, how I wish Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters existed back then.
Personal therapy session over, let’s crack on with the review...
Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters (let’s just call them Bad Kush, shall we?) play stoner rock, and it’s fair to say they take the genre name literally, let’s face it no straight-edge band is ever going to come up with that name, are they? Equally the album name: Come & Chutney (and we can only hope that’s an invitation to come and enjoy some savoury preserves rather than a rather dubious recipe...) is unusual to say the least. It’s fair to say Bad Kush don’t take themselves too seriously but the music itself is far from a joke.
On first listen it would be easy to dismiss them as just another stoner band, all down-tuned guitars and Sabbath riffing. But there is an aggressive urgency that is often lacking in other bands of their ilk, spurred on by vocalist Owen Carty who describes himself not as a singer but as a throat – and it pretty much sums up his guttural growl perfectly. They have a good, solid groove too which doesn’t get lost whenever the pace increases, as it does more often than you might expect. In fact, despite the tongue in cheek humour of the band name, there is a surprising intensity to their music and the thunderous element of their moniker is certainly based on fact at least.
They suffer a little bit from the songs blurring into each other but the more you listen the more songs like ‘Cojones Feos’, ‘Glue Ear’ and the gloriously unsubtle ‘Doner Trump’ stand out. And unlike many bands of their ilk they don’t seem to feel the need to drag out the songs with interminable jams, in fact only opener ‘Doggy Bag of Slurry’ and closer ‘Psychedelic Hallucinogenic Vagrancy’ clock in at over the six minute mark.
Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters don’t do anything astoundingly original and if you don’t enjoy the deep rumble of stoner rock then they’re unlikely to convert you, but they play with a conviction, energy and ability that belies the inherent daftness of the name, and could go toe to toe with pretty much anyone in the genre.
And maybe, just maybe there’s a schoolkid out there looking for a ludicrously named band to fall in love with, and they could do a hell of a lot worse than Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters.
Owen Carty – Throat/Guitars
Will Hart – Bass
Mark Buckwell – Drums and Percussion
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