Posted on by Oran

Limerick riff masters (and Bloodstock: Metal 2 The Masses Ireland 2022 winners) Tooms made their mark with a superlative performance at the Bloodstock New Blood Stage last August durning a heatwave, not seen for decades, and returned to their 9-5 after the dust settled… only they didn’t stay there.

They hit the ground running with gigs all over Ireland since then, supporting other unmercifully heavy Irish acts like Grey Stag, Dog Tired, Slung From A Tree, and Black Shuck (themselves winners in the 2019 M2TM), and also hit the road with Acid Throne in the UK.

They have since returned to the studio and popped out this BEAUTY of an EP, ‘The Shmeckoning’, released on May 1st. The three tracks on this latest offering are simply superb – Tooms have proven themselves to be riff-masters by trade, and they fail to disappoint.

Alex Hölzinger on vocals and guitar, Kieran Grace on drums, and Anto Donnellan on bass throw down a triple-whammy of head-banging shenanigans, kicking off with ‘Anvil Crawler’, followed by ‘Stabbed in the Head’, and ‘Megalobong 2: The Great Whitey Shark’ (and with a title like ‘The Shmeckoning’ I daresay perhaps a nod to Adult Swim’s ‘Rick and Morty’ to boot?).

Opening with a thunderous drum intro, Donellan and Hölzinger chime in with their own melodious additions, that open up the lungs and warm up the neck muscles. The grooves are infectiously relentless, and as soon as one song subsides, the next one begins with the same chunky and sludgy intensity. The beats flow hard and fast, as do the lyrics from Hölzinger. Grace provides the backbone of the groove-infused sludgefest, and the results are simply perfect. This is proven to a sharpened point in ‘Stabbed in the Head’.

Megalobong 2: The Great Whitey Shark’ is a headbangers paradise. When this one is turned up loud, the beat just a life of its own into your body; the head starts to move, then the fists start to clench and bounce, and before you know it, you’ve broken the kitchen table. This last offering is short but intense, and gives a powerful reminder of just how heavy Tooms are. This is a solid gold star from the Limerick trio, and hopefully, there are many more jewels like this to come.

Though short in delivery, ‘The Shmeckoning’ packs a solid gut punch, and stands over you waiting to deliver again with each press of the ‘play’ button. But don’t take our word for it – listen for yourself right here. 5/5

Standout track: Megalobong 2: The Great Whitey Shark. Order your copy here.

Catch TOOMS for their official album launch event in Limerick’s Pharmacia on May 14th with guests, Zhi Ren and Skellig. Tickets can be purchased here.

Shaun Martin 2023