Review Summary: Beartooth's debut is a cathartic ball of energy.
What do we know about Beartooth? We know Caleb Shomo fronts the band and we know the band has received front page press rights from about every online music magazine for the past month. Regardless on the implications of genre definitions, give it up to Shomo for debuting a band that has caused this amount of hype. The kid is 21 years old and has shaped a role for himself in the scene. At age 19 he wrote four songs for the Sick EP and played the drums, bass, guitars and vocals. He also mixed, mastered and produced the entire thing to. Now he is back with a couple other musicians for the debut album Disgusting.
One of the most impressive things littered across the 12 songs is the ability of Shomo to write a hook. 'I Have A Problem' is still such a catchy refrain to sing along with. 'Beaten In Lips' has a pop feel laden across its refrain, which adds to the addicting presence of the pounding music. Yes, most of the songs will feature a sung chorus which is a staple for most metalcore projects these days. His voice is not high pitched, annoying or fake. If there is one thing that is perfect across this record, it is Shomo's voice. His delivery accentuates his personality and you can tell he is giving his entire voice into every part. I was waiting to finally hear the end track because of what he said happened in the vocal booth. 'Sick and Disgusting' showcases an emotional Caleb breaking down into tears and forcing out whatever is left for him to let out.
I agree that the instrumentals can become a bit boring stretched out over the 43 minute time span, but there is a high amount of fun plugged into the heavy walls of distortion. 'Dead' is a highlight for me. The song is simple and just beats a hardcore influence out of every blastbeat and breakdown. Every instrument compliments each other and the walk-down progression at the end is a destructive part. 'Body Bag' has a fantastic bridge where the bass is leading the assault and sparks up the fun. Even when the softer sides take over Shomo's reflective refrains, the music maintains a balance of heavy and melodic. Take the transitions from part to part in 'Me In My Own Head.' The guitar movement behind the vocals is definitely worth noticing and produces its own melody. Being able to hear the bass bellow out in this entire LP is something that excites me. The drums are worth noting but never really take over a song. They keep the beatdowns quick and the follow the guitar parts well.
Is this the best album of the year? No. Disgusting is an album packed full with ways to energize and let everything out. This is meant to be a cathartic release, not just for Shomo, but for the listeners as well. The concept of this record was to get a head on straight, to be oneself and to have fun. Beartooth have lived up to that by releasing 12 songs full of visceral vocals, heavy instrumentation and catchy melodies. It is an honest release and surely to spark a huge crowd at Warped Tour this summer.