Todd – Purity Pledge

Purity Pledge

The forming of Todd is a strange story. Craig Clouse (Crown Roast, Hammerhead, Negative Step) moved from Texas to London. After the move, he formed Todd as result of a request from 4AD to support The Breeders in a secret show. Crowd response from that show, coupled with later appearences on SXSW and All Tomorrows Parties, lead Todd to record a debut EP. Eventually, the band caught the attention of Southern Records, and here we are.

On Purity Pledge, Todd plays a filthy amalgamation of the dirty guitar work of Melvins and Floor, but this is 10 times dirtier and ran through a psych-rock filter. This album is pure sickness full of static, feedback, and reverberation of the nastiest breed.

The agressive, distorted guitars churn and ring, doing their best to induce vomiting. The rhythm section plays sloppily with a fuzzy low end, adding to the general feel of being pummeled by bricks. The vocals are yelled primarily, but growls and shrieks of pain pop up as well. In addition, there are female backing vocals that add dimension the pain.

“Eagle and Child” is a vomitous mess of groovy riffs and rock-driven drumming with simple chord progressions beating you into submission, while the title track is pure, bloated evil. “Mr. Harry” and “Sedan” are also standout tracks on this soundtrack to drug and alcohol abuse.

The production on this thing is pretty bad, in a good way. Everything is a bit muddy, but that only adds to the sewage. The guitar and bass interplay is particularly disturbing.

Purity Pledge does an excellent job of introducing the world to some truly mucky music. However, I honestly have a hard time getting into this with repeated listens. I really want to like Todd, but Purity Pledge just doesn’t have enough to keep me interested.