Virginia Creep (Photo: Hanna Stevens)

Virginia Creep’s name is not just an ode to the band’s shared home, but also a good indicator of what to expect from its music: Southern-tinged rock with a predilection toward sludge-metal, willing to get into a groove and stay there. That’s a bit of a departure for the band’s vocalist J.R. Hayes, who has been the singer of the artful, progressive grindcore act Pig Destroyer for nearly two decades. On “Vortex,” which The A.V. Club is premiering below, Hayes is found singing instead of screaming, bearing little resemblance to the howling demon at the front of Pig Destroyer.

“Vortex” is the first song on Virginia Creep’s debut EP—which will be released by Robotic Empire both digitally and on cassette tape—and it sees the band carving a path that doesn’t lean on its members’ past triumphs. The song quickly establishes that, while it members have a pedigree on the more extreme end of heavy music, ”Vortex” is wholly concerned with taking simple riff and twisting it in as many different directions as possible, snagging everything it can into its swirling orbit.

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Virginia Creep’s debut EP will be released by Robotic Empire.