July 10, 2010

Music Review: Early Graves - Goner

As I first started up the sophomore Early Graves release (third overall, but the first round they went by a different name) I had a distinctly "Meh" reaction. I cannot really say I cared for it all that much upon my first listen. Multiple listens have softened my initial stance somewhat but it still isn't anything that is going to go into heavy rotation around these parts. I will say that there are a few things to like about it, but in the end the are just pieces to admire while the whole still amounts to a letdown.

Goner is a brief affair, ten songs clocking it at under twenty-six minutes. It knows that it doesn't have the juice to sustain a good long play, so there is little filler it kicks it up to eleven from second 1 and doesn't let up until it finishes. In that regard, it is nice to be presented an album that doesn't meander, lose focus, or allow the listener to wander into boredom. On the other side of the coin, all the energy in the world won't save you if the listener doesn't are for the music.

Early Graves takes a decidedly low-fi take on the recording process. They recorded analog and it along with it went for a rough and unproduced sound. It sounds almost like it came out of the late-80's early-90's grimy thrash scene. Now those may not be the right words, but I am sure you know what I am getting at. It has a sound that is at the crossroads between thrash and hardcore punk, the closest I can come to describing it is they remind me a lot of Entombed circa Wolverine Blues. The sounds are very, very similar, although I do prefer the Entombed album.

Aside from the length and the low-fi production, the anger that is packed into the brief run time is considerable. I don't know what has happened in these guys lives to make them so angry, but they sound completely and utterly pissed off. These guys are so angry that it seeps right out of the speakers and makes you want to do bad things. Think about the ooze in Ghostbusters 2 and how that brought out the worst in people, similar reaction here.

Sadly, when it comes right down to it, I did not really care for it. I did like the retro-noise factor they achieved with the analog recording and reckless abandon with which they charge through the songs. Still, they seemed to be stuck in one gear and they kept the pedal down until they reached the finish despite dropping a few necessary pieces along the way, there is only so long an engine can take the abuse they put it through.

If there is one song that could make its way into playlist land, it is "Wraiths." This tune builds up a bit of a groove and is easily the best track of the bunch.

Bottomline. If you like old school Entombed type stuff and have a thirst for something similar but new, this is the album for you. I just think my tastes have shifted to where I still have an appreciation for the music, just not a particular desire to listen to it all that often.

Not Bad, but Not Really Recommended.



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