Thursday, 5 April 2012

Review: The Love Below - Every Tongue Shall Caress

“You make me feel uncomfortable.
So, so uncomfortable.”

This Love Below record is 22 minutes of pure goddamn filth. Sludgy, ugly, unhinged goddamn filth.  I’m not sure why “filth” is the first word that comes to mind when I listen to this band (cover art notwithstanding). But here we are, this thing just feels sleazy as all get out.

And I feel like I’m better off for having heard it.

I was into that 7” that a389 put out by these guys last year, but I really wasn’t sure how the band would hold up for an LP. Turns out, I was probably overthinking things. This album is a beast.

Given the extra space afforded by a full-length release, The Love Below unfurls a chaotic collection of songs that veers from the uptempo punk tinged hardcore that they favored on their 2009 demo, to dirgr-ier, doom-ier sounding stuff. The results can be jarring, damn near schizophrenic, at times. But it definitely works.

The whole mess is held together (barely) by the vocal work of Jerry Wayne Woolbright Jr. I’d be hard pressed to think of another vocalist that strikes this particular balance of snotty, plaintive and roaring with disgust. He ties together the varied pace and tone of his band nicely and manages to make the whole ungodly mess feel coherent somehow.

This is the kind of hardcore record that will either connect with you or it won’t. I dug the fact that there was a definite punk edge running through the whole thing without sacrificing and of heavier, metallic elements. The results aren’t exactly pleasant in the traditional sense of the word, but they are definitely compelling.

Besides, sometimes I just like my hardcore to be filthy and ugly.

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