You Send Me Things, I Listen to Them: Firehaven, Panterosmith, Gudsforladt
Welcome back to another round of You Send Me Things, I Listen to Them, a recurring feature in which the laziest man in Texas listens to your independent band, goes off to make a sandwich, and then reviews it three months later. Today we’ve got three tasty selections of melodeath, party crossover, and black metal from Firehaven, Panterosmith, and Gudsforladt respectively.
Way back in the early days of the Toilet, there were a handful of young bands that your two dads (me and Dubya) bonded over extensively and sexually. One of our favorites was Guttural Slug, a siqqq as hell slamming brutal death band that united our love of sharks, slams, and absurdly brutal vocals. We probably won’t ever get any new slams from Guttural Slug but fortunately vocalist Samantha Smith is soldiering on with a new project. The result is Firehaven, a band that gives Smith’s still brutal as fuck vocals new life in the service of melodic death metal. They recently released a self-titled demo that exists as a bit of a love letter to Light This City, a major influence in Smith becoming a lifelong metalhead (the demo even includes a Light This City cover for the final track). Opener “Providence” is a propulsive number that highlights the strengths of the band, ear worm riffs and Samantha’s powerful vocals detailing her personal struggle out of poverty. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a ton about melodeath but the riffage and songwriting display here are ebullient and a promising sign of things to come. Look for a full-length some time next year featuring physical drums and an additional guitarist.
“Hit the coral reefer/Deep sea rager”, so demands Dale Lynn on “Motor Shark”. Intoxicants are the name of the game with Beer Snake, five tracks that constitute Panterosmith‘s half of a split with Pennsylvania’s Sluggernaut. If you get bitter beer face when the words “party” and “thrash” are put together you’re probably not gonna enjoy Panterosmith’s fast and loose peans to getting fucked up. For the rest of you that still like to have fun, there is plenty to be had with Beer Snake. While the aforementioned “Motor Shark” is undeniably indebted to their Panterosmith’s Virginian brothers Municipal Waste, other jams here separate themselves from the pack by incorporating death metal vox and more hardcore-influenced riffage. Also, Brian Morton’s bass choogles are up front and give these riffs additional depth that really makes everything pop. Beer Snake is Name-Your-Price on Bandcamp so pick it up now, you cheap bastard.
Before we go any further I would like you to take a look at that album art and appreciate that this guy got shot in the dick with an arrow. Thank you. Gudsforladt describes themselves as anti-fascist black metal which is extremely my shit. They recently dropped 1525, a two track EP that, while lacking in length, makes up for in replayability. I’ve jammed “The Long March” and “1525” at least a dozen times since first pressing play. Opener “The Long March” is a placid acoustic guitar duet that places the listener in a pastoral serenity. If the Gudsforladt boys wanted to put out a full album of acoustic compositions like this, I would surely buy it. “The Long March” fades out and segues to the title track, a 11-minute journey that borrows heavily from post-rock acts like Mono as much as it does Darkthrone. While other bands in the post black space sound like they stapled some Explosions in the Sky ambience to their blast beats, Gudsforladt make the configuration feel seamless. In addition to a pleasantly lo-fi mix, the result is a piece of music that feels like the natural progression of the genre. I dig it and you should too. It’s Name-Your-Price on Bandcamp so go pick it up now.