This vinyl-only debut EP from Tombs, the newest vehicle for multitalented DIY maven Mike Hill (frontman for Anodyne and Versoma), feels like a compilation of all your favorite eardrum-crushing heavy rock music. Opener “Fountain of the World 666” rams slashing Trail of Dead overload into Today Is the Day’s noise-bangery; “Course of Empire” borrows its overpowering walls of guitar from the Jesu school of My Bloody Valentine worship; “Hallways of the Always” has the syncopated drill-riffing of early Helmet. It’s like a noise-metal mixtape.
Aside from the dubious instrumental “Marina,” which features a cameo by guitarist Josh Graham of Neurosis/Red Sparowes, Hill rips into each track on the Tombs EP with a deadly serious arsenal of screams, howls and lacerated clean vocals. That helps smooth over all the restless micro-genre hopping, which might otherwise take away from the band’s power. It also helps that Hill has enlisted mighty capable co-conspirators in bassist Dominic Seita (ex-Speedloader) and drummer Justin Ennis (formerly of the Heuristic), who follow every change of direction with ugly grace.
Tombs has been together for less than a year, so the slight tribute-act feel of this EP is forgivable. With so many different styles of noise-rock represented, each of them performed convincingly, Tombs could go anywhere from here.