Southern Lord appear to be on a mission to be home to every metal band in the world. Every day I get a fresh email about some new signing or other and while I am very happy that a label this good is expanding, I’m wondering whether there isn’t some dipping in standards in their relentless acquisitorial drive. Observant readers may note that the word acquisitorial stands a good chance of being erroneous. They may also note that I am probably about to say something bad about Loincloth.

Despite their great name and a great album title I am not a fan of Loincloth. Instrumental metal of a deeply obtuse nature, I was nodding along for the first five or six tracks but there’s 16 tracks. That’s 16 tracks of intensely angular and somewhat dour metal (lyric free) that is defined by two apparent rules.

1. Never play the same riff in the same time signature for more than four bars.

2. Never play anything that could logically be expected to happen next

If they had applied these rules to an EP of four or five tracks, their brand of math sludge metal could be effective and hard hitting (like their sound) but over the course of an album I simply couldn’t pay attention. It’s like trying to eat a bag of crisps but finding out that all the crisps have been replaced with shrapnel and pebbles. You might have a go but ultimately you will end up eating something a bit easier to consume. Sadly that means that this is an album likely to be utilised as background music, which is a shame because its better than that but it needs the many, many hard edges grinding off.

Kim Monaghan