Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Baptists : "Bloodmines"

This Vancouver band  tries to cover some of  the same ground Converge does, they are dark, angry and angular at times.This fact is further pushed into the spot light by the fact that Kurt Ballou. Their debut album "Bushcraft" was met with tremendous buzz and it really depends on how much you ask of you hard core as to if you consider this to be a sophomore slump.

When they are more straight forward like they are on "String Up" they capture the things I tend to fast forward past on a Converge album.These songs are so short they seamlessly pass from one to another.The thick meaty bass line opening "Vistas" really helps set it apart. The song takes on a stompier doom vibe, with some impressive guitar melodies lingering about. The rabid bark of  "Harm Induction" digresses into the more punk roots."Festered" follows a similar path, but both songs have a cool riff here or there, but the rule around here is that cool riffs alone don't make for a good song.

On the title track they slow down to catch a groove and slip up and write a good song. The guitar has tension. The vocals come close to singing and not just barking with abandon. "Calling" has more of a Amp Rep like feed backed bluster to it. There is also a Black Flag like element to the vocal assault.The album closes with the band back at the altar of Converge. The lower growl helps vary things a little,  but drumming is a little to simplistic.

Converge has already spoiled me on this kind of thing, so the bar is raised pretty hard. The title track tells me these guys are capable of greatness if they can calm down and focus on it. It does have it moments and I will give them a 6 for those. Not something I would listen to on a regular basis , since if  I was in the mood for this I would pull out "When Forever Comes Crashing", but you might be too young to know better if that's the case go ahead and around this up to a 7.

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