I don’t typically like to do reviews of albums bands send me, but today I’m making an exception. I liked the two teaser tracks this Portland, Oregon band had posted on Bandcamp and jumped at the chance when they offered me an advance download of the entire record. Note to bands that offer direct downloads of the album – make sure your ID3 tags are correct. This one had missing artist info and the track numbers were missing which made reviewing the record in the correct sequence a pain in the butt. The record comes out on July 4, 2020.
The album sounds huge, with a bass forward mix that long-time readers of the blog will know is right up my alley. The bass breaks up nicely but still provides a decent amount of bottom-end. The drums hit pretty hard with plenty of attack and enough body on the kick drum to help the songs thump. I also really like the stereo image on the drums, particularly for how the toms sound. The guitars sound mean, with a tight attack that gives them plenty of articulation. They provide plenty of counter-melody to the bass line, but they also bring the heavy when needed. The vocals veer from a witchy scream that brings to mind Greg from Dillinger Escape Plan to a more conversational barking in line with bands like Idles or Whores.
Check this out if you’re into anything from noise rock to post-hardcore or metalcore. It’s a pretty strong release from these Pacific Northwesterners. -Jason
Bad Parts – The record opens with this pounding barn-burner and immediately gets me ready to rock! The drums come in with an urgent beat before the rest of the band piles on and takes us straight to Stink Face City. I’m banging my head and stomping my foot in agreement. This tune is pretty to-the-point, barreling forward with intent to wreck your neck. I love the fake-out ending. Thumbs way up!
Curse – The band eases up with a more mid-tempo groover on the second track, opening with squawking guitars that do a great job of making me nervous. The groove inspires a non-stop head bob and the chorus does a good job of shifting the vibe of the song, but it never really cuts loose. Overall, it’s an alright tune.
Don’t Hurt Me – The bass gets to shine for a bit before the rest of the band leaps to attention on this rocker. I’m once again finding my upper lip curling in disgust with the riffs. I like the simple bouncing guitar melody that plays out through much of this song over the churning bass. This one is pretty nasty! Heavy. Thumbs up!
No Luck – Ooof! This track opens with a wall of guitar noise over the drums and bass before the vocals come in hot and ready. Pissed! Again, it’s got a great pulse and I’ve banging my head and scowling in delight. The almost stoner rock sounding guitar melody that floats over part of this song is a sweet detail, and by and large this track just plain stomps. Rocker. Thumbs way up!
Noose – It’s hard not to think of Greg from DEP when hearing this vocalist, and that’s not a bad thing. This guy’s not doing any of the super melodic stuff, but his scream and more spoken stuff is definitely in line with that style. Once again, the band does an excellent job of driving relatively simple ideas into a fever pitch that flat-out kicks out the jams. The little details that the guitar adds are an awesome addition to what the bass and drums are pounding into your earholes. Dig it.
Whitemeat – Dang, this one keeps the nastiness coming! I’m noticing that some of the verse work is getting a little same-samey with how the guitar spits out panicky undulations of sound, but it’s still working for me! This is a nice blast of anti-rascist heaviness. Thumbs up!
Northstar – Yep, I’m still over here rocking out at my makeshift quarantine-work-from-home desk. See kids, be direct in your songs and get people to bang their heads in time and you’re halfway there! This one seems to reference Mastodon’s March Of The Fire Ants a bit, perhaps?The lyrics seem to be a bit too repetitive through the majority of this quick hitter, but it’s still a potent tune for what it is. Cool.
Casket Race – I’m not super into this track, mostly due to the main verse which feels overly busy or something? The chorus is a banger, and the bridge is tough, but I’m otherwise not getting much from this one. Oh well!
It’s Not Lard, But It’s A Cyst – Ooof! The intro to this one gives you advance notice that it’s gonna get stanky! This is a fairly catchy tune and keeps on keeping on with the band’s formula. The chorus reminds me of a band like Since By Man for the way the guitar plays the melody. It rocks pretty good.
For The Shame I Bring – This tune does a fine job as a closer. It’s got a great pulse and does a fine job of making me want to move. It brings the heavy and gets pretty intense at times thanks to that witchy vocal this guy does so well. Thumbs up!