The alternative music scene is overcrowded with post-hardcore and metalcore bands – with new ones sprouting up on a daily basis – so it’s hard to know exactly where to look for one who aren’t just a carbon copy of the others. We can tell you exactly where to look: Columbus, Ohio home of Beartooth!
What do we know already about Beartooth? Frontman Caleb Shomo used to front Attack! Attack! (the American screamo band not the soft Welsh rockers!) and Beartooth have had front page press in the majority of music magazines throughout this year. Of Mice and Men even took them out on tour back in April before they even had an album out.
Beartooth sit in the middle of the spectrum with the swagger and melody of A Day To Remember yet the crushing riffs and crunch of Bury Tomorrow or Every Time I Die. One minute the sped up opening to ‘Beaten In Lips’ will entice the inner hardcore kid out with flailing arms and heavy heads then the chorus jumps in and we dare you to not sing along! You only need to hear this track once before you’ll be screaming “Listen to the sound of your children revolting” when it kicks in.
The two minute long ‘Dead’ is a guaranteed circle-pit starter with plenty of breakdowns throughout whilst ‘Body Bag’ rages through every element that hardcore bands should employ. On paper it seems like an easy task: create a thundering drum pattern, expertly crafted fretting and lyrics which are both crushing yet easy to scream (or sing) along to! Yet many can’t quite grasp this! The album is full of those liners you’ll remember after one listen: “One life, one decision! Make sure it ends with you still living”, “Up on the mountain/ I see down below/ It’s easy to lose yourself I know” and “Pick up the pieces/ Cure my diseases” will bury themselves into your skull.
Beartooth seems like the band Shomo is using to get his credibility back because for those who remember Attack! Attack! They were one of those bands who weren’t taken all that seriously and were more often than not a shamble live. To prove his musical worth Shomo wrote, created, recorded and mixed ’Disgusting’ entirely on his own.
Just when you think you’ve heard that iconic crazy track the next one kicks in and honestly there’s no weak link on ‘Disgusting’: no track you’ll want to skip over during listening. Caleb’s vocal capabilities carry this album through; everything else just makes the journey that bit more enjoyable. Pretty much every track is loaded with both screams and clean vocals; all the usual traits of a post-hardcore record, yet it’s unusual to both be performed by the same person! The rest of the band are all fantastic at helping to sculpture the sound of the album but in all honesty it could be anyone welding the frets and drum sticks in the band.
Every track gives the sense that the storm is nowhere near being over and it’s ready to tear anything and everything in it’s path. Whilst closer ‘Sick and Disgusting’ seems like a personal cry for help and adds that human touch a lot of heavier records lack.
‘Disgusting’ in essence is a gut-wrenching, raw, emotional and pummelling storm of music brought together to create chaos: and if you aren’t hooked after one listen then something must be wrong!