That Thick Drawl: COMBAT!’s “Heavy Accent”

Check out the first single from Friends of Friends signee COMBAT!.
By    June 9, 2016

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Will Schube knows the chain keeps us together.

If you’re a musical participant in Los Angeles’ underground music scene, chances are Friends of Friends will find you. The label’s roster is a mish-mash of LA’s experimental pioneers and beat scene provocateurs. Shlohmo and Groundislava. Jerome LOL before he and Samo Sound Boy were heeded to Kanye’s think tank. FOF put out the new Anenon record—one of the year’s best so far—and are now readying the debut from Mark Nieto, under his performance alias, COMBAT!

While the name may conjure the image of a warrior readying for battle, first single “Heavy Accent” suggests a somber return home, or perhaps no return at all. The drums come from the Black Moth Super Rainbow school of filth—skittering and sludgy in their manic pulse. Nieto’s guitar is his best tool, sounding like a distant cousin of that one guitar tone during Fleetwood’s “The Chain.” The guitar is given room to breathe because of a gorgeous bass line that carries the melody. We also get an understated tambourine accent. Never underestimate the power of a good tambourine. “Heavy Accent” is an impressive introduction, and if the Friends of Friends co-sign didn’t leave you convinced, one listen certainly will.

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