Meet the band taking sludge metal into mind-bending new territory

Boss Keloid

Up-and-coming purveyors of progressive heaviness, Boss Keloid have been tipped by many as among 2016’s darkest hopes. And it’s no wonder, given how adept they are at producing such unique and eclectically thunderous music.

Citing everyone from Neurosis, Kyuss and Primus to prog rock royalty such as King Crimson, Genesis and Yes as inspirations, theirs is a mix that’s as brilliant as it is difficult to pigeonhole.

“We’ve had people describe our sound as psychedelic sludge, Zappa meets Sabbath, classy but crushing prog-sludge, and bluesinfused doom and sludge,” says guitarist Paul Swarbrick. “Those are all great descriptions, but for us we just want to play and hear heavy, dynamic, interesting and uplifting music. These are the four cornerstones that we adhere to.”

It’s been three years since debut full-length The Calming Influence Of Teeth first marked out the Wigan crew as one of the more impressive and inventive bands to hit the scene. New album Herb Your Enthusiasm is a more focused but no less inventive and crushing return from the four-piece.

“We concentrated more on dynamics and creating a greater sense of depth to the sound,” says Paul, explaining how the guys have honed their craft. “We focused on the collective tone and slowing things down to allow the riffs to breathe more while introducing greater melody to the songs. The progression from the last album is very apparent on a number of levels, I think.”

As seriously as Boss Keloid clearly take their music, though, anyone who’s taken a look at their album titles – or witnessed the bonkers brilliance that is their 2013 video for Skipper’s Pipes– will recognise that there’s more than just a touch of twisted, off-the-wall humour at play within the band.

“We take our music very seriously, but as individuals we’re the opposite,” admits Paul. “It’s important to us that the lighthearted attitude and irreverent humour carries through into the music. Collectively, we have a very warped sense of humour.”

It’s a sense of humour that they’ll be taking out on the road with them when they tour the album, if Paul’s description of what to expect from their shows is anything to go by.

“Heavy grooves and sexy moves,” he succinctly puts it. Where do we sign?

SOUNDS LIKE: Lysergic Sabbath worship with a wonky streak

FOR FANS OF: Melvins, Mastodon, Eyehategod

LISTEN TO: Escapegoat


Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.