Denton's the Plunge Dive Headlong Into Doom-Metal

Denton's Plunge even got lo-fi with their photos
Denton's Plunge even got lo-fi with their photos

Plunge started as just a name, and the band that later formed under it sought to replicate the sound of the word itself. The chugging, sludgy doom-metal band that resulted is pretty spot-on.

In bassist Cade Bundrick's room before a show at Gatsby's Mansion, the house venue he lives at and helps run, the three members of Plunge riff back and forth about everything from shattering cymbals to what they call "wiener rock" (don't ask).

See also: Gatsby's Mansion is an Essential DIY Punk Haven in Denton

The band formed in July, and just last Tuesday released the six-track Plunge EP with Civil Recording under the production of Michael Briggs. All members of the band have worked with Briggs previously, and guitarist Donovan Ford says Briggs is a scarily talented producer to work with. Less than a week since that release, Plunge played Houston on Saturday, Denton on Sunday and have another Denton show lined up for Thursday, too.

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With the collaborative nature of the Denton DIY scene, there's no shortage of musicians crossing over to work with each other in new bands, trading instruments as well as members. This is Cade Bundrick's first go at playing bass in a band -- he usually holds down the rhythm section behind a drum kit. Guitarist Donovan Ford also plays bass in Flesh Born alongside Miles DeBruin, who is the drummer for Plunge as well as Two Knights. And they're also each involved in a couple other bands, simultaneously.

The web of interconnected Denton musicians is massive, and would probably make for an incomprehensible graphic if it was all mapped out. Regardless, it lets the individual musicians explore genres and ideas that might otherwise not come together, which is how the members of Plunge came to conjure up a stoner-doom-sludge-metal band.

Plunge strays a bit from the staples of the Denton scene (which is mostly fast-tempoed punk or technical metal) by pulling back on the speed while supplying a crushing, lumbering sub-genre of metal. In fact, each member of the band acknowledged that this is the slowest band they've ever played in -- Bundrick even called it "relaxing," as he's used to playing frantic, rapid drum parts. Bundrick says it not only makes the band easier to approach, but allows them to play a wider variety of shows with different bands they may not have gotten to play with before.

"It's heavy and it's loud, but it's not esoteric," Bundrick says.

Drummer DeBruin mentioned the heaviness of metal forefathers like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and the riff-centric nature of those bands. That influence is felt on their EP, which features plenty of tasty riffs and an emphasis on the low-end sound. The members of Plunge used the phrase "ripping sweet riffs" about 10 times in two minutes, so you know they mean business.

"Everyone likes sweet riffs," Ford says. "It makes the band more accessible, and there aren't as many riff-focused bands now as there used to be."

Other influences range anywhere from the heaviness of the Melvins to the pop prowess of, of course, Beyoncé. Bundrick specifically cited the key changes and vocal performance on "Love on Top" as being indicative of a truly brilliant pop artist.

In the near future, the band is looking to work on an EP split with other local bands and just keep writing songs, playing shows and getting louder, although it has its consequences. An occupational hazard for head-banging bands like Plunge is what they call the "bangover," the aftereffect of a night of head-banging resulting in a sore neck. According to the band, there's only one known cure.

"French toast was definitely the answer this morning," Bundrick says, as the band recovers from their Houston gig the night before.


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