5ive
Versus EP

Boston drone duo 5ive have excreted yet another EP, this one containing no new 5ive cuts. Instead, they’ve re-released their two tracks from 2005’s vinyl-only split with Kid 606, recycled nearly the same album cover art, and tacked on two remixes of ‘Soma’ by Godflesh/Jesu mastermind Justin Broadrick that bookend the brief (by 5ive standards), 25-minute disc.5ive’s ‘Reso-I’ starts with a lazy rock shuffle like Five Horse Johnson but shirks this tag after the first minute to take up the Led Zeppelin mantle, ‘ la ‘That’s the Way.’ Casual listeners, waiting in the hunter’s blind, may allow themselves to be lulled into a false sense of security with these seemingly carefree tones, but astute fans know that the hammer will soon fall’and it does after 45 seconds when guitarist Ben Carr flips the distortion switch on his six-string and lets fly the flannel. Through the song’s many peaks and valleys, drummer Charlie Harrold never falters, and at the 7:30 mark, he and Carr stop on a dime, restart, and stop several times like on Kyuss’ Welcome to Sky Valley, which desert-rock aficionados will immediately recognize. ‘Soma’ does much of the same, beginning like the peyote-inspired dirges by the Doors (e.g. ‘The End’), then clawing up Sleep’s holy mountain with Earth in tow. At its coda, there’s some Reverend Bizarre-ish big finishes with amp and cymbal destruction, but ultimately it’s the usual fare that has established 5ive as the tribal-drone precursors to Isis, Cult of Luna, and the like.

The Broadrick remixes are interesting at best. ‘Soma (Stage 1)’ chooses the warm, Iron Butterfly-like tones of an old organ to color his canvas, though it peters out after two minutes. ‘Soma (Stage 2)’ is longer, looping 5ive’s Doors-styled sparse passages and imbuing them with the mellow backbone copped from U2’s ‘With or Without You.’ Without overindulging in clich’d riffs and arcane semiotics, Versus offers a CD version of two solid tracks and their complementary remixes by one of the most trusted and influential names in underground metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Ayers
October 5th, 2004

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