Label: Holy Roar Records
The issue I have with a lot of prog music is that it fails to be progressive, and ends up instead feeling quite regressive and backwards-looking – a painful irony for music that, by its very name, should be forward-thinking. So, it’s a pleasure to hear a band like Boss Keloid who creature music that is both prog-inspired and progressive in outlook. Melted on the Inch is an album that toys with the concept of song-structures and convention, letting the songs wander where they will, to stirring, life-affirming effect.
Situated somewhere around the nexus point at which Clutch meet Mastodon, Boss Keloid’s take on music draws liberally from prog, sludge, and psychedelic soundscapes, with the end result being something quite special and unique. Mountain-leveling heaviness sits next to soul-soaring, pop-infused wistfulness and joyous, spacious movements that conjure images of some utopia that is at once forever distant and just within reach. This combination of heaviness and lightness is the best feature of Boss Keloid, and that they can make music that is so crushing sound so celebratory and soulful is something to celebrate.
As is the fact that the band have learned the correct lessons from the prog giants both old and new, and avoid the many pit-falls of the genre. The songs are relatively economical in their lengths for prog – no song is longer than eight minutes – and they never fall into self-indulgent holes. There is a constant sense of forward motion, and the songs regularly mutate in to new forms and follow new directions. This constant feeling of movement and motion – all done with a definite direction in mind, rather than aimless wandering – fuels the celebratory, joyous feeling of Melted on the Inch, as do many of the lyrics. When the band bellow “celebrate the life you’re living” on opener ‘Chronosiam’, it feels all but impossible not to be swept along with the tide of euphoria the band are conjuring.
What this review can’t get across about Melted on the Inch though is how unique it sounds. Whilst it recalls a host of other bands and styles, no combination of descriptors feels close to capturing the magic of this album and Boss Keloid. It’s the sound of a band forging their own path, enjoying every moment of doing so, and it’s a real pleasure to join them on this ride.