Some are born gross, some achieve grossness, and others have grossness thrust upon them. With apologies to ol’ Bill Shakespeare, Florida’s brilliantly named Wharflurch may as well have knocked down all three of those grossness pins with the uncannily quivering bowling ball of pulpy flesh that is their second EP, the equally brilliantly named Shitslime.
Now, if you’re exactly the right kind of auditory miscreant, simply mapping those three coordinates – Florida, Wharflurch, Shitslime – is likely already enough grist to pique your freak-mill. But dipping your toes into Wharflurch’s swampy death metal attack dredges up such foul delights that it’s clear the band isn’t just trying to pass on aesthetics alone. Wharflurch’s primary mode of approach is a slithering pummel in the finest tradition of early Autopsy and Obituary with a fair helping of Incantation-styled knuckle-dragging. In fact, if you happened to stumble onto these sounds without any identifying information, you could hardly be blamed for thinking that you’d come across a lost demo tape from around 1991.
The guitars typically move in oily lockstep, and John Mamo’s vocals are a rudely hoarse belching blanket. There are a few touches throughout that point to some slightly more cosmic death metal ambition (primarily on “Plinth ov Bone”), but the EP’s closer “Intergalactic Death Spectrum Vortex” reaches for an extra pustule of melody that gives it the jagged edge of Timeghoul or the early Finnish scene. Shitslime teems with the raw intensity of a “don’t you dare forget our name” demo, but it’s refined enough to hear the sneaky craftsmanship through the squelching underbelly. Imagine a slow-moving avalanche of grease that roils and shuffles, picking up speed and crashing back against crags as it advances in fits and lunges. With a debut full-length also on the horizon from Personal Records this year, there’s never been a better time to pull on your waders and do some disgusting spelunking in Wharflurch’s gloopy morass.