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Baptists: Bushcraft

The album cover on this release says it all: It shows a man bent down, his head bowed low, his arms gripping the handle of an axe, his body language a blend of energy and fatigue. The blade of the axe is only partially buried in a tree trunk, suggesting his labor has only begun. What sets this image apart, though, is the way his body blends with the trees themselves, as though he were a kind of ghost, or a figure so entrenched in his actions that he has become one with them. I don't want to take my analysis too far, of course, but I thought that the picture suited the music here perfectly, mostly because of its suggestion of physical force and strength coming up against seemingly insurmountable actions.

Listening to Bushcraft is exhausting. I'm not saying the music is bad, only that it comes so quickly and so powerfully that it leaves listeners completely worn by the end of its 28-minute conclusion. Nevertheless, these guys are poised to make a splash in the hardcore scene. Their previous release, a self-titled 7", sold out immediately upon release, leaving listeners wanting more of the dissonant blend of punk and anguish these guys offer. Since this album will be more widely distributed, I suggest that fans of this style definitely check it out. Even better, the album was recorded at the famous Godcity studios in Salem, MA by Kurt Ballou. The result is a clean and powerful recording that successfully captures the discordant blend of guitar, bass, vocals, and drums these guys create.

The best thing about this album, though, is the drum performance. I couldn't find the drummer's name on the band's blog or Facebook page, but he certainly stood out to me as a talented up-and-comer to keep my eye on. Just listen to any of the tracks at random and you'll hear a blistering performance by a drummer who knows not only how to keep time, but also one that drives things forward with energy and power. This album moves at a very rapid tempo, one that the drummer never lets go of, no matter what the guitars are doing. I'd love to see these guys live sometime, if only to watch him set the tempo for the evening.

Track Listing:
1. Betterment
2. Think Tank Breed
3. Bullets
4. In Droves
5. Still Melt
6. Mortar Head
7. Crutching Trails
8. Bushcraft
9. Soiled Roots
10. Russian Spirits
11. Abandon

Added: February 2nd 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1960
Language: english

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