Weekend Nachos

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Review Type: 

Not exactly a newcomer, this Chicago (Illinois) based Powerviolence/ Sludge Metal hybrid quartet, as they've been around since 2004, albeit in different incarnations!

You see, the only remaining original members today are singer John Hoffman [a veteran of the scene who's currently also active with Cyborg, Hideous, Pit Of Spikes, Spine and The Nukes (and whose past c.v. Includes tenures with Attention Span, Church Destruction, Cyclops, Encyclopedia Brown, Food Fight, Get It Away, Harms Way, Hostage Situation, Plan Of Attack and Formaldehyde Junkies)] and guitarist Andy Nelson [yet another veteran of the scene, currently also active with Like Rats, and formerly a member of Gozarian, Beautiful Mother, 2*Sweet, Dog Vomit, Hats For the Cats, The Lapis Sanctuary and Undo Tomorrow]. Originally, the twosome got backing from drummer Adam Tomlinson and bassist Ronald Petzke, the first after some time being replaced by current drummer Brian Laude, the latter first by Varg Campos (formerly of Socially Retarded and Risk), then by current 4-stringer Drew Brown (also active in Cyborg - aha! - and Nowhere; formerly of Convicted and Few And The Proud). At some time, there was even a second guitarist in the band in the form of one Aaron Ross (formerly of Attention Span, Church Of Destruction, Cyclops, Encyclopedia Brown, Food Fight and Plan Of Attack, you'll notice the cross-references, right? He currently plays with O'er The Waves and Maribelle).

The band has been far from inactive as far as recordings/ releases go, issuing their Demo #1 within their formation year, and following that up with more than annual releases. Dec. 2005 saw the release of the Torture EP issued through Tooth Decay, and in 2006 came It's A Wonderful Life, a self-released split release with Chronic Bleeding Syndrome. 2007 then, saw the release of the band's debut full-length (comprising a crushing 45 tracks) Punish And Destroy through Regurgitated Semen. It was followed by the self-titled 4-track EP issued through Drugged Conscience in March 2008, which in itself was followed by the band's signing to Relapse Records. Still, as we'll find out shortly, the band did not restrict itself by issuing stuff through that label only. The second full-length, 2009's Unforgivable, and the ensuing 2010 2-track EP Bleed were indeed Relapse releases, but the 2011 compilation album Two things At Once was a Cowabunga Records release, and that same year's 4-track EP Black Earth came through A389 Recordings. 2011 would be an exceedingly busy year for the band, as they also released their third full-length Worthless through Relapse. That album also became as somewhat of a turning point for the band, who now started touring relentlessly, playing support shows for the likes of Converge, Municipal Waste and Cough, and performing at such notable festivals as Rain Fest 2012 and Obscene Extreme 2012 (mind you, at least part of that touring's been D.I.Y., with Hoffman handling the band's bookings himself!). 2012 also saw  the band release a split album with Lack Of Interest through legendary underground label Deep Six Records, and in January of 2013 the band issued a single entitled Watch You Suffer, through A389 Recordings. Which brings us up to date on the band's output, and allows me to concentrate of the guys' new offering...

...which finds 'em blasting away through 11 songs in exactly 21 ½ minutes, averaging less than 2 minutes per track. In fact, with one song lasting an almost incredible 3 ½ minutes, there's also 3 tracks under the one-minute barrier! Still, in sppite of the short-sharp-shock tactics, you'll find this band taking care of putting the necessary amount of melodies in their music. In fact, as they explain themselves, they operate by riffs, tones and volume...rather than by chaotic note-fucking, see? What with Sludge being incorporated as well, there's also diversity in the pace of the tracks, at one moment slow and grinding your head down on the floor like as if it's stuck between a mill stone, the next moment tearing your neck off in a violent headbang to that same floor! However, as there's enough diversity, you take the punishment with a grin...even with a sadistic touch to the proceedings as, with an already numb head, you push that “play” button on the cd-player time and time again!

For your listening pleasure, you'll have to look up the band's Bandcamp or MySpace pages (they also have a facebook page, but no music posted there). Huhuh...what with iTunes and Amazon usually posting 30-second samples of all album tracks, you will actually have gotten a fairly good idea of what this band sounds like. Great stuff this...brings me back to when I was still visiting small Punk concerts in the squats of my hometown Leuven!