Ed Gein

Judas Goats & Diesel Eaters

Written by: PP on 07/01/2007 18:12:41

Ed Gein are noisy, and they are pissed off. This is a band that plays hardcore the way it is played in modern times, relentlessly, chaotically, with earth-shattering breakdowns, and they have a message to give out to the public. Much like other NYHC bands like Sick of It All, Ed Gein are heavily politically charged. They're pissed off about the ignorance of Americans, the idiocity of their current president, and the systematic abuse of the environment by corporations and citizens alike, and they let us know about it heavily as fuck.

The first few tracks of "Judas Goats & Diesel Eaters" are exhausting to say the least. Say goodbye to any hope of melody you had for these guys as the trio's bombastic, lowly tuned riffs force their way through to your skull and then give it sledgehammer treatment. The first real break we are allowed from the ongoing murder of instruments is halfway through the fourth track "Pee Wee Herman/Paul Reubens", when the instruments pause for industrial ambience, only to continue heavier than ever before. The second half of the song is entirely instrumental, repeating a hypnotizing single riff throughout, making you wonder if there's something twisted going on underneath that you're just not quite grasping. But we'll come back to that later on in the review.

"Amen" sounds like Converge gone even crazier than they are. No structure, rapid pace changes and drums that are hammered so quickly and so heavily that I wonder how anyone could ever leave their live show alive. "Christianity As A Foreign Policy", the real gem of the album, follows afterwards and starts with a sample of George W Bush saying "biological, chemical and nuclear weapons" on repeat. Needless to say this is a direct attack on the Iraq War, and draws a parallel between Muslim suicide bombers and George W Bush as being exactly the same. And I quote: "the most dangerous men in the world fighting over who has the better imaginary friend / grow up before someone gets their eye poked out with a nuke". This is also the track with most melody on it with a couple of pull-strings and distorted guitars, but never enough to lull you into thinking the band has gone soft. The vocalists still rage on top, making you pay attention of their message and punishing you for inattentiveness brutally.

What follows then is probably the most twisted track on the album. Have you ever seen the movie carrying the same name as the track "United Ninety Three"? The same painful knowledge of things to come, but the seemingly eternal wait for when the events actually unfold is present on the entirely instrumental track, which repeats the same riff for about 2½ minutes, then pauses for some speech samples before returning to the same stupendously hypnotizing riff. Now is this track trying to depict what was going on in the movie with the shout and scream-samples in the end of it? Is it trying to say the whole flight was a conspiracy? What the hell is going on here? Only the band knows for sure.

"Bastard" is another track Converge fans will hold dear to heart. It's basically 2½ minutes of senseless chaos and unmelodic destruction, full of breakdowns each several kilotonnes heavier than the other, changes of pitch and pace all over the place and the three vocalists never pausing to torture your ears with their distorted shouting, and is probably the track that best characterizes Ed Gein's sound.

The band has left a surprise to the end of the album as well by covering Nirvana's classic "Breed" on "Untitled". The track has been reworked into a much more metallic, more hardcore form, and there isn't a doubt in my mind this wouldn't be how Nirvana would sound like if they released their debut in 1999 instead of 1989.

Overall, "Judas Goats & Diesel Eaters" is modern hardcore at its very best. This is what Converge does on all of their albums, and needless to say Ed Gein also quote them as major influnce. It is too bad it took over a year to get this released here in Europe, as the album has been selling loads overseas. If, like me, you're still bummed out about Beecher breaking up, get your hands on Ed Gein. You won't regret it, but your ears might.


Download: Christianity As A Foreign Policy, United Ninety Three, Bastard
For the fans of: Converge, Beecher, Some Girls, The Chariot, Norma Jean
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.11.2006
Metal Blade
Provided by Target ApS

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