Tuesday 21 May 2013

Great Northern Screamo #2 - Gas Up Yr Hearse! - A Banner Year for the Sum of Our Losses EP (Christer Lunnan-Reitan)

I remember the first time I heard the intense emotion of bands such as Usurp Synapse, Neil Perry and Jeromes Dream. Spending minutes, sometimes almost hours, just digging through the layer of noise and finally coming up with beautifully executed melodies, passionate performance and all in all amazing craftsmanship. The intense emotions being packed into small compact bursts of exploding noise. I just loved it.  That was the late-1990s to mid-2000s, and I just got into most of these bands just before, or slightly after, they disbanded. And ever since that, I haven’t quite had the same feeling listening to emo-violence; I felt bands couldn’t get their heads wrapped around what made those bands so good. It’s not enough to just copy the band; you have to know what you want to do and what you want.

Cue Gas Up Yr Hearse!, one of the best bands around these days. They take from the old school of screamo/ emo-violence and add their own take to it, mixing mid90s emo melodies as well as inspiration from other hardcore/ metal genres. On this 5-track EP, none of the songs hit the 1minute mark. Add titles that take about a minute to read out loud, and you’ll get the idea. It’s like grindcore for the emo kids. The EP starts off with the extremely intense One Hundred Years From Now I’ll Be Crawling From My Tomb, combining complicated and intricate drums with extremely distorted guitars and a gut-wrenching dual vocal attack, combining both “traditional” hardcore vocals with high-pitched shrieks not unlike Jeromes Dream and Devola.

The EP continues its destructive path with And As Her Hand Slowly Crept Up My Spine, adding a more rock’n’roll-twist to the guitar riffs, making for a subtle and groovy feel before crushing the whole dream with a brutal breakdown that’s not only fitting, but hard as hell. The ringing in your ears hasn’t gone away before the third attack; Haunted By The Skeleton In My Own Body, which is easily my favourite track on the EP. Mathcore-ish drums set up the extreme terror these 30seconds have to offer with the high-pitched shrieks piercing your eardrums while the more traditional hardcore vocals works more as background filler than vocals, making it all sound like a perfectly executed assassination on your eardrums.

At the End of My Biography I’ll Be Dead follows the previous three tracks with a heavier leaning towards the chaotic spectre the band is capable of performing, unleashing 37seconds of pure fury with some good old mosh parts and breakdowns in the middle of it. The band’s last track, they’re longest on the EP (at 54 seconds) rounds the release of leaving you exhausted, but wanting more. That’s Not Where I Remembered Leaving My Coffin is a mixture of all previous songs with the mathcore-ish drums, chaotic overload and dual vocal-attacks over a subtle grooving riff.

The few seconds of silence after the EP is over feels like hours. I personally needed to hear the EP six times to get the hang of it, and that’s a good thing in my ears. This EP shows an extremely talented and hardworking band with both legs planted solid on the ground, letting their roots creep up their legs and inspire them, but not being consumed by them as to not do their own thing. This is really a band to watch out for; their ethics, sound, their love for DIY... It’s amazing. 

Buy It: Band is currently sold out, BUT they will make more. Check Plastic Smiles Records (plasticsmilesrecords.storenvy.com) as they might have a few copies left. Or just download the EP from bandcamp.

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