By G.W. Schulz
Old Man Gloom first formed as a side project for members of the Boston bands Converge, Isis and Cave In. In some senses, OMG was bigger and more destructive than anything its members had done with their primary outfits.
Nonetheless, Old Man Gloom has made few live appearances over the years (including a rare and devastatingly loud visit to Bottom of the Hill a couple of years ago) despite four colossal records that sway dramatically from haunting ambience to absolutely vicious breakdowns complete with full, crunching guitars and guttural screams that will shred your face off. The problem is, no one in Old Man Gloom has really had time to take the band further (or, as I've heard, the band thrives on its rarity.)
Two of its members have finally moved on and created something a whole helluva lot like Old Man Gloom called Zozobra, which includes Caleb from Cave In and Santos, OMG's drummer. "Zozobra" was the name of an early Old Man Gloom record. Just one track is available right now at Myspace, but a full record from Hydrahead (the label of Isis and Old Man Gloom guitarist Aaron Turner) is pending. If you liked OMG, chances are good you will like Zozobra. Hell, if you liked seeing Boris at Slim's recently, you'll like all of this shit, because most of it was inspired by bands like Boris anyway.
While we're at it, Hydrahead is on it these days with some stellar new acts, including a group of psychedelic bad asses known as Clouds from Boston. This is definitely a must for fans of Dead Meadow, Earthless and Saviours. A record from Clouds is expected soon.
Current and former Boston bands like Isis, Jesuit, Converge, Cave In, There Were Wires and others have established a solid reputation for their side projects that just seem to continue expanding endlessly. Some of the other incarnations include Windmills by the Ocean, Red Sparowes, Doomriders, The Gersch, House of Low Culture and Forensics. Doomriders were supposed to perform with Nashville's Coliseum a while back at the Pound, but rumor has it a promoter forced them off the bill at the last minute because they were scheduled to open for Boris the following night. You can find mp3s for each of the above listed bands all over the Web. I'm merely a reporter. Don't make me provide links. It's called Google, motherfucker.