Saturday, February 23, 2013
BAPTISTS - BUSHCRAFT
"Betterment" starts off the record with a thirty plus second build-up until finally exploding into a frantic frenzy around the minute-a-half mark. The pace doesn't let up, leading into "Think Tank Breed" which is a juggernaut of a track. The combination of urgent vocals, riffs, and some lightning quick drumming creates a highly memorable track. The drumming is something that really stands out throughout Bushcraft. There's never a moment where they feel flat or muted. BAPTISTS maintain this ferocity for the majority of the album and then they give us "Soiled Roots," which slows things down. The repetitious groove becomes hypnotic (And how filthy does that bass sound? Goddamn) as the vocals truly stand out. "Soiled Roots" is different than many of the previous tracks, but it doesn't sound out of place. Much to the opposite, actually. It helps take sounds explored in songs like "Mortar Head" and "Bushcraft" and expand upon them to create a fluid album instead of a bunch of singles.
The guitar work really shines on Bushcraft, going from frantic and chaotic to more slowed down jams. It has a great sound that is super clear production wise without being too clean. Same with the drumming. The variations and overall power found in the opening track is amazing. The one knock I had on the album was that the vocals started blending together by the time "Abandon" started. That being said, even that doesn't have a major negative effect.
While I'd be lying if I said the band's influences weren't evident, at the end of the day BAPTISTS take them and add in their own flavor for a refreshing - albeit malevolent - record. Now I just have to track down a copy of their first EP.
You can pick this up over at Southern Lord right now as well as stream the complete album over at exclaim.ca .