Gig report: A Gram Trip, Hrmülja @ Mocvara, Zagreb 26.04.2024.

Gig report: A Gram Trip, Hrmülja @ Mocvara, Zagreb 26.04.2024.

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The Swamp has been buried in smoke.

It seemed that the last cold air breeze had breathed its last that night in Zagreb, at least for the moment. The last few weeks here it felt like it was more autumn than spring. This went along the vibe with the recent black metal acts (Diocletian, Haxanking, Srd etc.) that invaded The Swamp club.

This night was a bit different offering, and something that you don’t see that often: stoner bands, or something akin to that. The original line-up of bands was A Gram Trip, Hrmulja and Lord Drunkalot. With all three bands more or less fitting into the mentioned genre but all three giving a bit of a different spin on it.

Unfortunately, Lord Drunkalot due to illness of the frontman did not make it to perform that night. Which is a shame and due to all three bands giving a different spin, it would feel like a missing piece of the puzzle and leave one third of the night kinda empty. Especially when your most known act of the three bands taps out at the last minute.

Nevertheless, A Gram Trip, the opening band, and in my opinion the main band of the night, took this opportunity aand took the stage by acid storm. This is not my first time seeing them, it was some time ago and then they were still showing some minor birthing pains, but this night was another act entirely. Opening their set with a new song called Seven Leaf Artillery showcased the bands evolution in sound with this long doomy riff that gets in the mood quite fast. This is taken from their new EP If We Leaf Tomorrow which was released in April of this year. Showcasing a more mature and cohesive song writing, bridging stoner and doom genres which quite fits. The sound was fantastic, the guitarist Kes, is truly the soul and sound of the band. I’m the first guy in line to roll my eyes when I see an arsenal of 98 guitar pedals and the sound is still shit. This time might be a first in a long memory that it felt that every part of pedal equipment was used, wisely. At times it felt like it was three phantoms background guitars.

The body of the band on the other hnd, is Boki on the vocals, with his wide voice range similar to his excellent interaction with the audience. Imagine Doug Stanhope trying to imitate Phil Anselmo; casual with no filters with the interaction with the audience but vocally intense and captures your attention. It was obvious that a lot of stage presence is cleverly planned and the whole performance is quite fluid. Boki could yell “Fuck Iron Maiden” to some schmuck with a lousy music taste and the rest of the band starts the song like it nothing.

The second and last band of the night, in way took a shortest straw: Hrmulja. They got huge shoes to fill after A Gram Trips performance. Nevertheless, the venue was still relatively full and ready for another stoner dose. To describe the band; imagine Lemmy from Motorhead decided to play slower music and sports a mullet. Remember their Iron Horse song from the first album? This is pretty much it, with a lot of Satan in the lyrics. It was a fine performance with prominent bass lines. Despite a few steps down in quality comparing the previous band, it was a feel good vibe. Excellent work for the live sound needs to mention again for both bands bringing its massive sound that compliments the genre of these bands flawlessly.

Being fan of this genre or not, or maybe not quite familiar with it, I think that A Gram Trip and Hrmulja excellently presented all the good sides of it, and seeing the venue pretty much filled to the brim, shows that there is an hungry audience for this as well.

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