Before you glance at that cover art and make that silly little "don't-tell-me-this-is-another-70's-prog-slash-stoner-album" look on your face, let me tell you that well, it isn't. Even more misleading is the "epic" aura that this image exudes. The truth is that this is an 18-minute album. And when it says "Get Ready", you probably should heed its advice.
Formalities first and foremost, Tusk began to exist even before the boys at Pelican started to focus all their energies to their recent band. Musically, perhaps some of the only things that these two bands have in common are the words "heavy" and "riffage". The dramatic droning and excessive brooding are nowhere to be heard, replaced by relentless assaults of metalcore-ish chugging and almost structureless 2-minute massacres. Yeah, that's right. Pelican specializes in angsty procrastination, whereas Tusk wastes no time in delivering their goods.
To give you an idea on what Get Ready
is like, imagine Pelican's rough, meaty guitars paired with an even crunchier bass and death metal drumming molded in the likeness of Dillinger Escape Plan, minus the math, add a wee bit of spazziness. How they did the production in a pseudo-black metal lo-fi manner makes the instruments stand out even more."Dracula Dragon Trick" starts off slow, and appetizes the listener for the savagery to come. In the 40-second "Blood", the three get absolutely hysterical in their rawest offering in the record. Where the band really shines is in "Green Love". For the most part it goes like the rest of the songs, but in the bridge there's these harp-like strings playing while a muddled voice speaks that gives a creepy "walking in a dark forest" kind of vibe that sets it apart. "Six Act Descent to the Lower Reaches" slows things down by a bit, but that's not saying much. You'll get little or no rest at all from Get Ready
's sonic barrage. Speaking of vocals.. coming from a band that incorporates only instrumentation in their work, the way the vocalist screeches, growls and bellows(sounding somewhat like Converge's Jacob Bannon in the process) looks like he's been doing it for a long time.
Comparisons aside, this band can definitely stand on its own. This debut proves to the listeners that in a such a short span of time, it succeeds in what a lot of bands in their field fail to accomplish: that they don't need to try too hard to keep their own identity, just a mix and match of a tried and tested formula and some experimentation. Though not groundbreaking 5-star material, and can be repetitive at times, Tusk still managed to create a non-stop hardcore/metalcore/death metal-esque fury that you can't quite put your finger on the first few listens, but one that you'll slowly get accustomed to. If you're looking for something more adventurous than your usual metalcore but a little tamer than brutal death metal, you won't be disappointed.