Written by: EL on 15/01/2015 15:41:10

Since leaving Attack Attack! in 2012 Caleb Shomo went on to form the hardcore punk band Beartooth in Columbus, Ohio, joined by Taylor Lumley on lead guitar, Brandon Mullins on drums, Oshie Bichar on bass and backing vocals and newest member Kamron Bradbury on rhythm guitar. When he was just 19 Shomo solely wrote four tracks to the “Sick EP”. He played all the instruments, sang all the notes and completely mixed, mastered and produced the entire thing himself. Three years later at the age of 21 he is debuting Beartooth’s first album alongside some incredibly talented musicians and it’s safe to say he has firmly cemented his name in the music scene.

It is evident from this album that Shomo really knows how to write a catchy and memorable song and has figured out how to break down the walls of an overpopulated music pool. With 12 tracks on the album you can be assured that there will be plenty of songs for you to bop around to and lose yourself in the various pounding moments littered in it though at some points it does feel a little bit overstretched as 43 minutes can be a long time and runs the risk of an album getting boring.

The album is filled with incredibly deep and powerful messages ranging from suicide to child abuse and to things like alcoholism. Anti-suicide song “Body Bag” is heavy and melodic and features hard hitting refrains. It swings between some awesomely heavy bass lines and shifts to a more reflective area when Shomo sings the refrain. The breakdown-laden track, “Dead” is two minutes of circle pit inducing mayhem with some cool cut verses and bridges. Carrying on the sound of destruction are “Relapsing” and “I Have A Problem” which deal with alcoholism and provide us with a very deep insight into Shomo’s demons.

Venturing further down the rabbit hole with even bleaker subjects are “Beaten In Lips” which delves into the dark realm of child abuse where Shomo cries out to the victim telling them to not be ashamed to live loud and proud. It’s fast, angry and filled with demented purposes. Vocally Shomo’s range is that of a singer that you’d imagine to be far more advanced in years and yet here he stands screaming with passion and purpose. Filled with choruses, chants, multiple layers of guitars, powerful lyrics and simpler than expected song formulas, “Disgusted” is definitely a stepping-stone for Beartooth. It may not be the best album of 2014 but it definitely looks like they are heading in that direction.

The final track of the album, “Sick and Disgusting” is the track that stands out for me because it’s the most honest and human track I have ever heard on an album. Allegedly the story behind it is, is that Shomo broke down into tears in the recording booth, so what you are hearing is a young man breaking down under the weight his words have, “Dad I don’t wanna be sick and disgusting”. What a way to end an album. It’s raw, it’s powerful and it’s haunting. Shomo’s vocals carry this album past any border of being mediocre or boring. I believe the words he is singing, they’re not just generic words or repetitive, they actually mean something to him. Every word is laced with pain and anguish and you can really feel that throughout the tracks.

Whereas the album in itself is full of deep, and meaningful messages the strictly overall lacks just a little bit too much in diversity for me. Having said that this album needs to be heard and understood. Though perhaps lacking a few musical layers, the meaning behind it is far more powerful and effective.


Download: The Lines, Body Bag, Sick and Disgusting
For The Fans Of: The Amity Affliction, Miss May I

Release Date 10.06.2014
Red Bull Records

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