Released: 2017, STB Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Like a bear that’s found his way into a case of Codeine, Ontario’s Olde roars through your speakers with woozy abandon on their latest release, TEMPLE. Taking cues from the likes of Weedeater, High on Fire, and the Melvins, the 7 new tunes are saturated in caveman heavy sludge. It’s a pretty straightforward recipe, but one that teeters on the line between good and great.
“Subterfuge” and “Now I See You” open with a healthy dose of fuzzy groove, but they’re a bit generic and don’t light much of a fire. But then, holy cow – “The Ghost Narrative” shakes with wickedly evolved melodies and a genuine sense of impending doom, as does the menacingly bitter title track. This back and forth continues throughout the remainder of TEMPLE, ultimately ending on a high note with the magnificently epic “Castaway”. It can be a bit frustrating at points; when the band saddles into one of those more simplified grooves, it can be stiff and without a natural hook. But when they downshift and let the riffs breathe, it’s a totally different listening experience. The bluesy coda that exits “Maelstrom” is a great example of the best of both worlds converging into something memorable that still racks you in the jaw with a sock full of pennies. More of this, please.
While not every tune on TEMPLE is a home run, it still finds itself as a pretty amenable record. But when they find that sweet spot towards the middle and latter half of the album, Olde present themselves as a band worthy of your time, attention, and coin. TEMPLE is worth the exploration, check out Olde’s Bandcamp page and decide for yourself.