Pulling Teeth


Written by: PP on 29/12/2011 02:28:46

Pulling Teeth have always been a hard band to take a crack at. Much like Converge, they've always looked at hardcore as not a formal set of rules of how to sound, but rather as a starting point from which to experiment in all sorts of weird and unconventional directions, pretty much exploring every possibility that comes to their mind, whether heavy or soft, fast or slow. Their newest album "Funerary" continues on that path, leaving fans of conventional hardcore scratching their heads over the complexity and artistic depth they present in their music despite sounding more vicious and uncompromising than most of their hardcore peers.

"Funerary" is an album of two sides. The first seven tracks go for a scorched earth tactic similar to Converge on their recent albums, where they leave absolutely nothing standing behind as they freight train through devastating pieces of hardcore punk delivered at ridiculously high tempos and a chaotic atmosphere that's only kept together by their vocalist's senseless barks. It's caustic, it's unforgiving, but it's also exemplary on how to 'pound' your point through heavy and brooding hardcore punk songs between 90 and 150 seconds in length. Only few bands know how to do this effectively, and Pulling Teeth are one of them.

The last five tracks show the second side of Pulling Teeth. They are drawn out, extremely experimental pieces of metallic hardcore where things like feedback, noise, and experimental instrumentation play a much larger role. As opposed to the direct, to-the-point hardcore of the first half of the album, these are between 5 and 10 minutes in length, and sound like day and night in comparison. They are still heavy as fuck, to use a cliché expression, but instead of a ferocious, give-all approach to songwriting, they go for more progressive structures that allow for the use of subtle melody and more elaborate soundscapes in general.

Which one of the two you prefer, will ultimately depend on your personal preference. Essentially, "Funerary" has the same composition of any recent Converge output: some hard-hitting, destroy everything standing in your way type of songs, and some more songs showing a softer, more intricate side to the band, which also demonstrates the depth and potential in hardcore when thinking outside of the box. Me, personally, I go for the elephant in porcelain store approach, with heavy things breaking soft things as fast as possible, like on the first half of this album. The contrast between the two can be a bit overwhelming and confusing at times, resulting in a little bit of an inconsistent feel overall. Perhaps "Funerary" would have been better split into two EPs instead?

Download: August 29, Brain Drain, From Birth
For the fans of: Converge, Integrity, Trash Talk
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.04.2011
Firestarter Records

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