Sere hit the ground running on their debut self-titled release. It’s a three track EP but it could easily be considered a mini album with its 24 minute runtime and the varied terrain they cover. The doom quota is high from the Auckland quartet yet never in a super-serious, studied manner. These guys can hammer down but they also show a desire to expand the horizons of the style. Art-doom perhaps?
‘New Path’ is the band’s monolithic calling card. A coruscating landscape of air raid siren guitars and eviscerating distortion that sounds like The Stooges, Black Sabbath and Earthless jamming in Hades. Over thirteen minutes the only relief is a middle section of reverb-swathed chugging chords and howled vocal incantations before everything tumbles back into the sonic abyss.
‘Hazy’, by comparison, is a Velvet Underground, tambourine-rich and bass-weighted slice of underground sewer rock. More psych and dark garage rock than it’s predecessor. It shows the band can marry hooks with a heavy vibe and pack them into a standard rock song. Rounding out the EP is a cover of Roxy Music’s ‘In Every Home A Heartache’ (For Your Pleasure, 1973). The original was part ambient, part psych-rock freakout but Sere have taken it and twisted it into a much weirder and disconcerting piece of music. The first half is like a Butthole Surfers outtake before we return to the storm and drang density of ‘New Path’ for one last run of speaker shredding heaviness.
Sere’s debut EP is an endurance ride but with volume and the right frame of mind it’s an impressive and all-consuming one.