OHHMS are one of those bands who excel with everything they do. They have become one of the prides of Britain in their short three year career. They released two killer EPs, toured the UK and Europe numerous times and played a few of the UK’s most well-known festivals. Their first album may be titled The Fool but they are nothing but fools when it comes to music.
The Fool like OHHMS’ other releases is intelligent, well-written, loud and thought-provoking. An album made by five musicians who are confident in their music and are willing to push themselves to evolve. It is music that is obviously OHHMS with plenty of nods to the past, but also looking ahead to the future. Vocalist Paul Waller delivered his best vocal performance to date with vocals that are commanding at times, while at other times vulnerable and tender as featured on the beautiful fifth track ‘The Lovers’.
This really is a different OHHMS. They cut down the track time but lost none of the power. After the acoustic intro ‘Shuffle, Cut, Reveal,’ finishes, ‘The Magician’ charges straight into the fray with some riffage that wouldn’t be out of place on a Conan record, before transitioning into some classic doom stomping. ‘The Hanged Man’ opens with a mesmerising post-metal/shoegaze atmosphere that reaches for the sky. ‘The World’ is a definite live anthem, ‘short’ at 6 minutes 40 seconds, with chugging guitars that wouldn’t be out of place on a Hark or Mastodon album.
The lyrics are also catchier than Corbynmania in 2015. Saying the words that Paul sings are infectious would be underselling the lyrical genius of them. But the real highlight of the album is the 21 minute finale ‘The Hierophant’. The Fool contains OHHMS’ shortest track and their longest in ‘The Hierophant’ which is also the best thing the band has ever done. The chorus of “I’m Cosmic Dust, lost in the Ionisphere,” has been carved into my brain since the first listen. The song, which is about coming to terms with depression, is an epic masterpiece. Starting with a six-minute wall of sound that would make Sunn O))) and Swans proud, before metamorphosing into a mind expanding, cosmic shamanistic ritual for the ages. A breathtaking sprawling epic that will be long remembered.
The Fool is not just one of the best albums of the year, but one of the best things Holy Roar Records has put out. Absolutely outstanding.
Best Tracks: This World and The Hierophant
1. Shuffle, Cut and Reveal
2. The Magician
3. The Hanged Man
4. The World
5. The Lovers
6. The Hierophant
Paul – Vocals
Chainy – Bass
Marc – Guitar
Daniel – Guitar
Max – Drums