Originally formed in 2003 for a short two-year run, Oakland, CA-based group High Tone Son of a Bitch are back with a new EP featuring two expansive, spaced-out songs including today's premiere, "Death of a New Day."
Featuring members of heralded underground bands like Noothgrush, Necrot, and (occasionally) Neurosis, the band's sound is steeped in the tradition of doom and desert rock's psych-leaning tendencies but with an air of melancholy that sweeps away any trace of schmaltzy panache. "Death" pulls distinct inspiration from Kyuss at their best, with a deliberate but never boring pace and gripping emotional passages. Clocking in at nearly seven minutes, the song's quieter passages play like an invitation to crawl into the work, making it easy to transition back into swells and live inside the notes.
The track's endemic sadness is no mistake, as it is partially inspired by the death of guitarist and founding member Paul Kott's brother Andrew following a long struggle with addiction that partially led to the band's initial hiatus. "When he died in 2008, it shook the foundations of my being," he recalls. "I went into a deep downward spiral for years. Although I worked hard to emerge from all this grief, it was really the prodding of my nephew, my brother's step-son Juan, that provided a cathartic experience for me that helped me rebuild my relationship with the music and vision HTSoB was building."
"Death of a New Day" is, according to Kott, "both literal and allegorical ... It's about the band, but more broadly, it's an examination of the human experience." Critiquing modern religion's failure to acknowledge the human condition, he expounds, "The pain that is an inherent in the human experience has no real outlet. People who are experiencing pain are ostracized, medicated, no one knows how to deal with them. So, 'Death of a New Day' talks about the truth. Your dreams will be crushed. You will suffer. You will fail. But if you can understand that these things are what you should expect, you can become more prepared for them."
1. Death of A New Day Dawning
2. Eye in the Sky