Some would say that good music is fast, or energetic, or any other adjective to describe their favorite band. While some of the fastest guitar players in the world have notoriety based on their immense talent, other bands have an amazing knack of sparking an emotional response for listeners. Beartooth, on a lyrical and musical level, brings out this idea — that even if an album is simple, it can still be “good.” Especially in the metal and hardcore community, where ‘shredding’ guitars have quite the prominence, this may be a foreign concept, but some of the best metal records of all time still capture an emotional response, no matter what exactly the musicians are doing.
Beartooth’s debut album, Disgusting, is a prime example. The driving sounds of the music kick off into the leading track, aptly titled “The Lines,” a sad song about an addiction. The album came out in June, but its sounds are just now making rounds. The music is simple, but quite interesting. It will please fans of old hardcore, such as Black Flag; it draws influence from a more brash act such as Slipknot (especially “Body Bag”), as the band has mentioned; and the emotional melodies are reminiscent of bands like Linkin Park, Falling Up, and other powerful alternative acts (“In Between,” “Sick and Disgusting”). Overall, Disgusting should be praised as a strong debut and will be enjoyed by a wide variety of people both for musical and lyrical content.
“We are the sons/We are the daughters/The generation of disorder,” Shomo screams toward the end of the first track. These lyrics alone give rise to the tensity of the rest of the album. Many of the words, written by Shomo, surround personal struggles which many can relate. “Beaten in Lips,” Shomo said, is about child abuse. “This is for the kids with the beaten in lips/Whose parents try to shut them up using their fists/Keep living loud and proud/They never can hold you down.” But don’t let select positivity fool you. That same track further encourages said victims to “wipe the walls with kerosene,” and notes that “this is the sound of your children revolting,” before the rest of the band launches into a rhythmic assault.
On a musical level, this album is not dynamic. It is in your face. It is loud and vulgar. It is an example of how to write an emotional melody (especially on the chorus of “In Between”) while adding enough angry chaos through noisy dissidents close to obnoxious leads at some points. Rhythmically as well, Disgusting approaches a high level of integrity as it boarders — in a few spots in progressive influenced patterns, whereas some of it is simply fast and fight – starting. For an example, check out “Relapsing.” Further, one of the best tracks on the album for its quality, musically, and lyrically is “One More.” It’s the anthem of the album and could be enjoyed by even those who despise this genre.
From an overall view, Disgusting is a strong debut. Shomo’s gifts as a producer, lyricist, and musician are clear, but the band has room to grow. We’re looking forward to seeing this promising band evolve.
Key tracks: The Lines, In Between, One More
The album can be purchased on iTunes, in stores, and from the band.