Soundscapes shaped by moments of dark brooding doom and relentlessly riff-heavy and psychedelically charged movements. For Hodges and Dimmock the chemistry TUSKAR shares is unshakeable both live and in the studio. Their unmistakable energy and ferocity has marked them out as UK sludge metal’s most exciting prospects.
TUSKAR‘s incredible forthcoming record ‘Matriarch’ will be released on the 25th of February via Church Road Records / Deathwich Inc., and today we have the first single ‘Grave‘, spiced up with the band’s special picks of their top influenced that helped them
Baroness – Red Album
Tyler: Before we started Tuskar, we played in a Metalcore band, we had a good laugh with some mates, we made a mess and played some songs….neither of us knew the other was into the same music until one rehearsal Tom sparked up with a conversation about Baroness…..I would say this is when it all started for us and the band have been a massive influential band since.
Tom: Look, Baroness has it all. The riffs, the sound, the writing, the art, the full package. No more needs to be said.
Russian Circles – Station
Tyler : Russian Circles was where it all started for me. My dad was super into them when I was young, I recall him having the track ‘Yungblud’ from Station as his ringtone….Lame right? but it really resonated with me. My love for RS grew from there. Live and on record I think they are just magical.
Me and Tom would jam Russian Circles literally all the time. Then in 2016 we attended our first Desertfest as a band and probably one of our first gigs together. Also, for me, Dave Turncrantz is one of my favourite drummers, the dude is a beast, I feel I take a lot of influence from his almost Tribal styles of drumming.
Tom: Russian Circles are a band that was an early influence when first starting Tuskar. Their unique combination of atmospheric and rhythmic sections were super influential for us. Early on we even had a unreleased song simply known as ‘Russian Circles’
Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows
Tyler : Something about this band either live or on record just makes me tingle. Paradise Gallows is like a journey from start to finish, the artwork completely encapsulates that journey! They are without a doubt one of the coolest and interesting bands out there.
Tom : Right. This is the best metal album released in the last 10 years. It spans almost every facet of heavy music and more. The production is splendid, the performances are simply banging.
Conan – Horseback Battle Hammer
Tyler : Conan is probably one of the most influential bands to me and to Tuskar. I love Jon, although it sometimes pains me to admit it, the man has been a massive role model to me even before me and him started our working relationship. The same Desertfest I mentioned before we saw Conan open the Electric Ballroom. The sheer power that band holds is captivating, crushed and pulled back and forth by monumental riffs. I personally think this was one of the points that made us realise…..Tuskar needed to be Loud as FUCK!
Tom: There’s no denying how influential Jon, Chris and co have been for both of us. One of the first truly crushing bands I ever listened to. Look, I even named my Volcanic Tortoise pet (Terrorpene for the players) ‘Krull’ in World of Warcraft.
Our Man In The Bronze Age – Gallows Tree
Tyler : Again referring back to my Dad, without him my journey into different styles of music wouldn’t have been. His band Our Man In The Bronze Age was one of the first stonery/arty kinds of bands I ever saw live, they are local legends from Milton Keynes and they deserve way more credit than they get! They used to be an instrumental, cloak and mask wearing doomy powerhouse.
High On Fire – Blessed Black Wings
Tyler : Little needs to be said, they are hands down one of the best bands of all time! #Pike4president.
Tom : How could we write a list of influential bands without including a Matt Pike special. He’s the person that ignited my love for obnoxiously loud amps, and I might get some flak for this. But High on Fire over Sleep any day of the week. They just exemplify the art of the riff.
Bongripper – Satan Worshipping Doom
Tyler : Heavy, Doom laden, Filth! Satan Worshipping Doom is one of those albums that really just gets you going, solid drums, big hooks, it’s just class musicianship! We would sit and listen to this record all the time when we lived together.
Tom: When I first started listening to the doomier side of music it was this album that really dragged me in. I loved the art, the titles, the whole scale of it. I think their sound really stuck with me, having a bit more edge and aggression than just simply being crushing low end.
Tom: Now Meshuggah is a band that really influenced me as a player. Their unrelenting mechanical sound is just pulverising. It’s brutal and unrelenting but also so precise. It’s not being hit with a battle hammer, it’s the thousand blaster bolts of an IG bounty hunter droid.
Tyler : Again does anything really need to be said? It’s Meshuggah.
Mastodon – Blood Mountain
Tyler : If you hadn’t guessed, I think it’s pretty clear we are massive Mastodon fans. Blood Mountain for me is literally the perfect Metal album. It has everything you need! I also doubt I have to mention it but, Brann Dailor is one of my all time biggest influences, jheeze I even started singing to be like the dude!
Tom : We could have put any of the four first Mastodon Albums on this list, and to be fair I’m almost annoyed we didn’t. But it’s the chaos in this album for us. There’s that unmistakable magical tinge to it that is just intoxicating.
Neurosis – Through Silver in Blood
Tyler : To finish off, we have to mention the kings, Neurosis. The first time I got to see the band was in 2016 at the Koko in London, supported by earth, which was a trip. I think this is one of those nights you will never forget, standing with your best bro, listening to one of your favourite bands, just loving life!
Tom : What a cold ass album. Like literally frozen. Listening to Neurosis is not a passive thing, you have to be active in it. I think this was one of the first albums I heard that seemed like it wasn’t meant to be an immediately easy listen. I love that grit to it.