Monday, May 16, 2011
Get into: New Lows
If you are one of those idiots who love whining about breakdowns in metal and hardcore, get the fuck off this blog. Breakdowns rule. In fact, I have always fantasized about an album composed almost entirely of breakdowns. New Lows' Harvest of the Carcass is this album.
Don't worry, this is not some shitty deathcore band playing a bunch of one-note grooves. New Lows basically sound like Bolt Thrower if they had been really into the Cro-Mags. Instead of using breakdowns as an excuse not to write riffs, they write breakdowns as riffs, sometimes even as fully developed melodies. They are masters of phrasing: Many of the coolest passages on the album can be broken down into a series of micro-riffs, each answering the one that came before.
New Lows don't have any one way of writing breakdowns. Sometimes they leave space, sometimes they allow you none. Listen carefully from 1:25 to 1:45, where they switch from see-sawing syncopation to a palm-muted massacre. The grotesque lead that finishes off the second riff makes it even heavier. The drop comes exactly where you'd expect, but it's not "predictable." It's inevitable.
These songs would be heavy as hell no matter what, but the album's production really brings it out. Harvest of the Carcass has a thick but biting guitar sound, and a bass kick you can almost feel in your chest. The singer is set back in the mix, so it sounds like he's fighting to be heard over the colossal din. This is really atypical for hardcore, but it fits the music perfectly, since these are clearly songs about struggle and strife. His vocals are totally rabid Dwid Hellion type barks, again not what you'd immediately expect in this context but all the better for it.
Oh, and there are occasional fast parts. In fact, these guys can write some good d-beat riffs. They basically serve as a setup for breakdowns and other slow, stomping parts, but they're never filler.
Anyway, New Lows is a sick band, and Harvest of the Carcass is a fucking neckbreaker. Get on it.
(Thanks to youtuber Crustloaf for the video. He uploaded that whole show, and he's also shot some cool shit about The Rival Mob. I wanted to post the studio track but couldn't find it, so it's a good thing there's a live version with great sound.)