Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Gristnam - ‘Even Less’ (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: Out  Now
Label: Housecore Records

‘Even Less’ CS//DD//LP  track listing:

1). Etch and Burn
2). Column
3). Embedded
4). Guilt Runs Red
5). Load/Depressed
6). Wake
7). Copperhead
8). Cells
9). Riding Home
10). Wallow
11). Oak Tunnel

Gristnam is:

Greg Bourgeois | Guitars
Steve Bourgeois | Guitars
Shaun Emmons | Vocals
John Miskimmin | Bass
Keith Sierra, Jr | Drums


In the 2000s, we have had the surge of weirdly non-metal metal bands and genres, some of which realized they weren't up to snuff and died out, and some of which decided to stick it out as a form of rebellion against taste and decency. And with these genres came fads, the like of which the 90s would never have dreamed of. And further problems happen when these fads make money and attract terrible bands like flies to a gutted corpse. Gristnam is not one of these bands, and frankly doesn't sound like they give much of a rat's ass about it. They are harsh, grinding, sludgy, and sound like they were born fucked up. 

Their new album, ‘Even Less’, is an uppercut wrapped in barbed wire to the unsuspecting jaw, mixing together Superjoint Ritual, Eyehategod, and as much whisky & pills as they could find on the nearest truck stop bathroom floor. The album smacks of anger and pissiness, grinding like early Eyehategod, with a sound that just pumps the blood up. The guitars are simply just violins set to Evil, with the whole arrangement sounding as if it’s a nightmare set to record at night. The way they just drive the music, without polish, ornate shredding, or anything resembling leads, absolutely speaks to the lizard brain, and just gets my headspace into JUST DO IT. It’s a perfect balance between sludge and grind, with a deep, nasty tone, and a speed that isn't thrash, but a headlong rush of metal to the side of the head. 

Vocally, it's basic animal brutality. Shawn Emmons has freakishly evil vocals for Gristnam, again in a very similar manner to Eyehategod, and newer releases from Phil Anselmo's various projects. It’s basic, screaming and growling like he's exorcising a particularly vicious demon. When combined with the voracious attack of the band, it makes for an onslaught of noise and grit that makes the air itself dirty.  It's almost feverish, and at times belies the heavier, earlier Mastodon, close to Blood & Thunder. Not quite the progression or complexity, but just a raw feel. 

If you want a jagged new release to subject you and your friends to, this is a definite frontrunner. Pair with Haarp, a nice heavy beer or some cheap whisky, and be sure to have some bail money ready. It's going to be a long night.

Words: Hunter Young

Even Less is currently available digitally via the official GRISTNAM BandCamp page HERE, on orange wax (limited to 300 copies) and cassette (limited to 100 copies) via Housecore Records at THIS LOCATION.

For more information: