Release date: 26 July 2013
20-year old Caleb Shomo is the screamer-songwriter of metalcore band Beartooth, whose debut EP Sick feels five years too late. The release’s defining quality is Shomo’s soprano-and-gravel dual singing attack, which has the fuzzed-out quality popular in mid-noughties deathcore. His devil-may-care chuckle at the end of “I Have a Problem” defines his slightly unhinged frontman image. However, Beartooth’s instrumental section leaves much to be desired in execution and personality. The rhythm guitarist repeats bland triad riffs on every track that desperately yearn for a backing lead and seem stale when compared to contemporaries. The grinding bass is great, but buried too deeply in the mix. The drums serve no purpose other than timekeeping and are easily tuned out, which is a slap in the face to Beartooth’s colleagues and experts in integrative percussion Converge, Every Time I Die, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Despite these flaws, Sick is a listenable four-track EP, and the upbeat, driving rhythm of each song is catchy and a good shot of adrenaline if you’re getting sick of the same indie pop that’s lasted for 15 minutes on air.
Great for morning shows and good for punk rock shows.
Out on Red Bull Records.
All clean, play any.
I Have a Problem – (4:00)
Go Be the Voice – (4:05)
Pick Your Poison – (3:50)
Set Me on Fire – (3:30)
RIYL: The Devil Wears Prada, The Black Dahlia Murder, Every Time I Die, Underminded
Note: Caleb Shomo is the former lead singer and keyboardist of post-hardcore/crabcore band Attack! Attack!, but for the sake of this band’s cred, you probably shouldn’t mention that.