Reviews for you'rNext...
Although 2005 isn't over yet, this album belongs definitely to one of the biggest surprises of this year, and it was a courageous step from BOTTOM to record such an experimental low-end album like "you'rNext". With
the last album "Feels So Good When You're Gone", released by Man's Ruin Records, the band had established themselves in the heavy scene and due to constant marathon touring, BOTTOM gained a good reputation for being a crushing live-act. After the breakdown of Man's Ruin, the band was signed by Small Stone Records and with "you'rNext", their first album for the Detroit-based label, BOTTOM have executed a radical cut. The new album still includes a few of the band's trademarks like huge monster riffs, an extreme
low-end bass-sound, or the stunning vocals from Sina. But they have removed almost all well-known rock conventions and filled the empty space with feedback, song fragments, whispering vocal-parts and folk-like elements, featuring a flute. And at least, they weren't afraid in recording a verse from Friedrich Schiller, entitled "Excerpt from Schiller"! Well, this "song" is very short, but it helps in emphasizing the bizarre folk-vibe on "you'rNext". Sina is still an outstanding vocalist with a very varied voice, and in "Requiem", her singing reminds me to Diamanda Galas or Nico. But the album includes also a few "real" rock 'n' roll songs like "By a thread", that could have been taken from the previous album or the outstanding "The Traveller", one of the best songs I've ever heard from BOTTOM. I'm not sure, if this three ladys have resigned the old formula and will come up with more sonic surprises in the future, but "you'rNext" will be a shock for fans of the first two albums. To speak for myself, I like the experimental edge here, although sometimes, I had the impression that I was sitting in BOTTOM's rehearsel space at NYC's Lower East Side, and watched how this three women were tuning up their instruments... But after this disc had taken a lot of spins in the player, my conclusion is, that the album must be seen as an entire piece of art. I guess, they won't find a lot of new fans with "you'rNext", but I think it's great, that BOTTOM gave a shit about any expectations and recorded this kind of catharsis within four days. Respect!
Klaus KleinowskiNovember, 2005www.cosmiclava.de
SCREAMING BLOODY MESS
Opening with a mass of feedback and loose guitar meanderings, New YorkĂs Bottom set the scene for a dirty, raw-edged sludgefest complete with a deliberate but limited sense of direction and purpose. The all-female trio put an unusual slant on an all-too-often emasculated artform, though they steer clear of femininity, proving that female does not necessarily equate to sensitive and genteel. Indeed, these three lasses are as abusive, abrupt and classless as those they look to for inspiration ű that being Neurosis, Isis, Helmet, and Scissorfight, all in the early part of their careers.
Self-produced, YouĂrNext utilizes tortured, vitriolic vocals that are spewed forth in angst whilst the music remains loose and intentionally sloppy. Such an approach creates an interesting tension as the two elements tug against each other, seemingly waiting for the other to snap. And indeed, on ŠDistordo IIĂ the composition side wins out as feedback and adlib jamming are committed to tape together with patient fuzz and snail-pace enthusiasm. Additionally, minor forays into sludgy blues hint at something more to come as their career develops.
Misspelt for no apparent reason and sporting Cathedral-esque coverart, YouĂrNext requires an enduring ear to get beyond the moments of nothingness. But there are rewards for those that do.
WarrenJune 17th, 2005www.screamingbloodymess.com
This is an album creepy and terrifying. The female trio offers deep, dark and mysterious rugged instrumentals like watching perturbing motion on the surface of an underground lake. Then there are the screamo songs of melodic noise rock. Bridging this subterranean chasm is such reduced metal as the potent chthonic ballad "The Same". This is music for black lights and stormy nights. (4)
Thomas SchulteMay 13th, 2005columns.ink19.com
The Cutting Edge
Absolutely no fat on these Bottom girls - just dense swamp-water riffs seeped in old-school Sabbath with a ring of Cathedral/Trouble on the lower end. Super heavy on both bass and feedback, the New York-based trio grind this mother into the ground like a plow eating asphalt. Check out the dirge courtesy of bassist Nila in ˘Testimony of the Mad Arab÷ with the apocalyptical ring of a military transport chopper flying overhead. For an instrumental, it certainly sets the mood for the next 50-minutes.
˘By A Thread÷ has elements of SabĂs ˘Planet Caravan÷ in mood and reflection before SinaĂs voice comes roaring forth unleashing a bansheeĂs fury. Her delivery is similar to another siren of a bygone era ű that of D?tenteĂs Dawn Crosby. Yet, that voice can be deceiving as we hear her subtle beckoning in ˘The Same÷, and ˘Nana Del Rio÷ right before it rips the cover off your speakers. Groove is essential throughout especially when they converge on the mouth-watering ˘Requiem÷ and ˘The Traveller.÷ ClementineĂs drum is brought to the forefront over a Gregorian chant in the darkest way. Brilliant!
This is BottomĂs first post-ManĂs Ruin release and breathes new life for the road-worn band. Delivering 300+ shows a year has made them an extremely tight outfit. Yet, never afraid to stretch out as heard in ˘Distordo II÷, the thick ˘Memories of Orchard Street÷ and the power mad ˘Bushmills Jimmy÷ make the most out of an arsenal of three. Whatever you do, donĂt cut this cherry short before ˘Two for the Road÷ rolls into ˘Rainy Day Blues÷. Pulling off a jazz/blues tempo switch not only keeps the record interesting but wonderfully fulfilling.
Todd SmithMay, 2005www.thecutting-edge.net
Wolfie - Absolute Metal
Bottom's latest offering comes complete with cover art that looks like it belongs on a Cathedral album cover, but the music inside is something in a relm of it's own. This album starts off mellow enough, laid back guitar noises, drums and bass...atmosphereic here and there, before eventually heading into an angry punk-fueled vocal with feedback screeching forth from the bowels of hell. Occasionally, the mellowness returns, but usually only for a brief period before the passive-agressiveness boils over. Track 5, 'Distordo II' is a definate favorite. It's over 7 minutes of guitar feedback, occasional cymbals and drum rolls, random bass notes...laid back stuff. 'Memories Of Orchard Street' is a badass instrumental also. 'Requiem' has some crazy opera house vocals going on in the middle of it...this album even has a blues tune on it. It's one of those albums you just have to hear for yourself.March, 2005www.absolutmetal.com
Scott Heller - Aural Innovations Mag
I have only ever heard the one track on the High Times magazine Stoner rock compilation by this all female band from NYC. They are touted as the heaviest all female band ever. The CD opens with "Testimony Of The Mad Arab", and features the band tuning up and spacing out before they enter into track 2, "By a Thread". "By a Thread" begins with some nice melodies before the evil rumble from below creeps into the sound. The lyrics on this song are great, being both funny and tragic. The band have long tracks of strange feedback and angry vocals but most of the songs are strange instrumental adventures and very much remind me of the old Melvins (pre-90's). I have to say this band have a unique sound and while most people will hate this and not really think it is very musical and worth listening to, others will appreciate the art. So fuck off is basically the message presented here. Take what we give you and if you don't like it,
tough shit!!!!!!!!AI #30 (February 2005)www.aural-innovations.com
Michael Toland - High Bias Magazine
The best of the stoner metal bands treat Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer as starting points, rather than ends unto themselves. Bottom is undoubtedly one of the best; its Feels So Good When You're Gone album is one of the genre's classics. With the long-awaited follow-up, though, I'm not sure what's going on. The black metal influence ("By a Thread") is welcome, the laid-back, non-metal tunes ("Rainy Day Blues" and "The Traveller") are cool, and some of the old riff-rock magic ("The Same") is still loudly present. But way too much of the record is given over to meandering feedback instrumentals that sound more like filler than conscious effort. Then there's the Carmina Burana thing happening with "Requiem," which should be left to European power metal bands who don't know any better. On the one hand, I'm glad Bottom is striking out in some new directions. On the other, too many of those attempts make me wince on You'rNext..February 27th, 2004www.highbias.com
Kevin McHugh - Hellride Music
you'reNext,' Bottom's third album, comes at you with one of the strongest left hooks you're likely to hear this year. Their first, self-released album, 'Maid In Voyage,' was a fine exercise in raw stoner metal played with passion and conviction. Those of us who saw this group of hardened road warriors ca. 1999-2001 know that this tuneage lent itself especially well to live performance. Then came the corrosive, brutal riff metal of 'Feels so Good When You're Gone,' a bloody exercise in pain and anguish that upped the stakes from the first album. If memory serves it was one of the last Man's Ruin discs, and Bottom's profile seemed a bit lower in the wake of the label's dissolution.
So its all the more surprising that Bottom should choose to present this unexpected aural snapshot as their comeback on the estimable Small Stone label. I don't usually do this, but I'll quote the press release: "'you'reNext' tells a gypsy lie using minor chords and wrenching howls and guitar tones that circle like ravenous buzzards." That tells the story
well, backed up by the fairy-tale art of the cover. There's no doubt, the album is experimental. The riffs are virtually gone; instead the guitar paints accent strokes while Nila's bass (and narration, some in her native German) rules all with Clementine's drums providing intermittent structure underneath. Sina's anguish is still there, and in some ways the
rather experimental structure of the music allows it a freer and more effective _expression. Make no mistake, the ladies were feeling experimental when they recorded this, and bravely decided to go with it and release it, expectations be damned. This will no doubt upset the more hidebound among us who are disappointed at not getting their money's worth of
Suck it up and broaden your mind. Bottom is committed to the music, and I'm glad to honor that commitment by keeping an open mind for whatever they have on theirs. In some ways this is their best album, though certainly not the most comfortable. This music is more likely to remind you of the more outre efforts by the Melvins and Black Flag, or the no wave madness of DNA, early Sonic Youth, or Teenage Jesus. Hey, Bottom hails from New York City, maybe they remember those halcyon days of angular musical nihilism. In any case, the latest info is that they've got alot of music in the can that hearkens back to the metal days of 'Feels so Good.' So you malcontents are covered. Their next release will likely serve up the expected riffage, and I'll be there for that one as well. In the meantime, turn the lights off, spark up, and open your mind. In the long run this may turn out to be their most satisfying album.February, 7th 2004www.hellridemusic.com
Craig Regala - Lollipop Magazine
The crush metal power trio heavy grooves are gone. Darkness, darkness, drone and darkness. The guitar is an accented noise tool, the bass an over whelming malevolent center the drums punctuate and frame a desparate cry to kill. Man; this is the ultimate breakup record. All itĂs missing is a guest vocal by Diamanda Galas. The drone, drift-noise, growl-hiss incased takes a band who easily toured with power punk, nu-metal and stoner bands into the terrrain of the non-rock and roll song side of Boris, The Melvins, and Jucifer. Still itĂs identifiable as Bottom no matter how ˘outside÷ it gets; the mark of a true band with a real musical identity. There are replicatable ˘compositions÷ more than ˘songs÷, but itĂs not jerking around.
ItĂs almost as if they made a ˘dub÷ record, but instead of blatent Jamacian dub techniques they pulled the idea and ripped apart their previous music, stripped it down and added other accents wherein a quaking molten core gushes forth. At times itĂs closer to aggro-free music, (ever hear the father-son Brotzmann team?) , held together by a strict adherence to an emotional goal. ˘youĂrNext÷ abstracts the feeling and subtracts the overt rock trappings to get at something they couldnĂt get to ˘rocking out÷. Although thereĂs a pulse and often rhythm tracks thatĂd grace any Scorn record that keeps the brooding life force creey crawling forward. The 15 year old ˘rainy day blues÷, based on twenties-ish style vocal pop-blues, slyly and wisely reflects the giving-in-to,-not-giving-up-to nature of the other stuff. Check www.smallstone.com .
See; Neurosis, Jucifer, Porn (the men of), The Book of Knots.February, 2005
John Pegoraro - StonerRock.com
Those expecting more of the crushingly heavy grooves of Feels So Good When You're Gone will wonder what in GodĂs name happened to Bottom. The trioĂs latest and first release for Small Stone Records, youĂrNext, is a huge shift in direction.
ItĂs not that theyĂve abandoned bass, drums, and guitar, or that their songs are now about puppies and sunshine. But theyĂre far removed from the style of their past releases. On youĂrNext, theyĂve got more in common with eclectic, experimental acts like Book of Knots. Some of the tracks, like ˘By a Thread,÷ ˘Nana del Rio,÷ and ˘The Traveller÷ are stripped down to the barest of essentials, accented by instruments not normally associated with this style of music.
˘The Same,÷ the closest to the Bottom of old, seethes with animosity. You can feel the rage and desperation creeping out of the speakers when guitarist/singer Sina shrieks, ˘I shut you out of my brain/I feel you just the same.÷
Intertwined with these more ˘traditional÷ style songs are, to steal the title of fellow Small Stone act Porn, experiments in feedback. ItĂs easy to dismiss these tracks as filler, but they in fact serve the purpose of keeping the listening off kilter. youĂrNext isnĂt background music. The arrangements are too complex and the musicĂs too engrossing for that. YouĂre taken on a journey with this album.
youĂrNext has been described as ˘volume-addicted folklore,÷ and thatĂs just about right. ItĂs the type of album that will garner equal amounts of adulation and damnation. While it may not be perfect, it shows theyĂve got creativity and daring to spare. All in all, youĂrNext is a hell of a move on BottomĂs part, and I hope this release brings them a larger audience.February, 2005www.stonerrock.com
Chris Barnes - Hellride Music
Geezus H. Keyrist I was broadsided by this one. Bottom to me were always a good band, decent output in the past that I wouldn't say is particularly stellar or memorable. So it's this kinda expectation I had when you'rNext got it's first spin in the Barnesmobile.
In my humble opinion, the band has created their masterpieceÓ I expected the usual stoner-influenced output, big riffs, melodies as interpreted by three lovely ladies. What I got was intensely visceral songwriting, framed by moments of dire feedback-drenched oddly-tuned minor chord mayhemÓ and SinaĂs vitriolic, seemingly deeply personal lyrics delivered with Ó man, I donĂt know the word for what it is but you feel it. No doubt about that. "By A Thread" will scare the shit out of you. Rollin's "Gun In Mouth Blues" comes to mind and those of you that know, really knowÓ take "The Same" for instance:
"Words touching silence are felt long distance Like a shot in the dark, you've a heart. Weight up on my shoulders I grow twisted, I grow older. Held by vice of crutches, I struggle from your clutchesÓ"
When she emotes on the word "crutches", it's like she reaches out and grabs you by the trachea and shakesÓ the impact of Nila's bass and Clementine's heavy handed drum work (I shit you not, during the hypnotic "Memories of Orchard Street", the combo's compression on the sub-woofers made the ends of my slacks visually move) put the "I" in "IMPACT". Both musically and emotionally.
Bottom exceeds expectation in spades, especially with the magnificently dark and ambitious "Experpt Von Schiller" (in creepy guttural German) into "Requiem" which, in my mind, is the "Expressway To Your Skull" for a new generation. Early Sonic Youth isnĂt the only thing I hear however, as the raw negative energy of Black Flag's My War (especially side two) and The Process of Weeding Out come to mind as well. "Bushmills Jimmy", with its seemingly random, atonal guitar work, is more Greg Ginn than Greg Ginn. Nods to Lydia Lunch, Patti Smith, et al all along as well.
Also of note are the wonderful, unusual vocal harmonies in "Two For the Road" that are further explored and expanded into "Rainy Day Blues"ű a song originally penned by Sina way back in '89. Gawdamn does it remind me of something Tom Waits might've wrote. I play this over and over like a mental patient. "The Traveller" is also amazing with it's Spartan approach to accompaniment and Sina's voice way up frontÓ
This review has already gone on too long ű suffice it to say if this is one helluva release. I'm truly blown away. Nice work, ladies.February, 2005www.hellridemusic.com