by Todd Hamm
on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 4:42 PM
Great Falls may play around town all the freaking time, but the punishing Seattle trio has so far evaded much acclaim, which is unfortunate, 'cause have you seen these guys? Undeterred, the band has continued to create some of the most ruthless, progressive hardcore in the area since its members gravitated to the same rock, so to speak, several years ago.
Released earlier this month on Irish label/music club Hell Comes Home, Great Falls' new full-length, Accidents Grotesque pulls you under for a solid 37 minutes, kicking and spitting blood from the get-go until they finally relax their teeth during the fifth track, "Replace Me With Fire"—though even then you can feel them grinding their jaws, chest heaving with the lumbering guitar riff, ready for another dog fight (which basically happens around the 7:41 mark). They have a nearly unmatched ability to play with tension, even though most songs—save the aforementioned "Replace Me With Fire"—jump headlong into a tense environment without leaving room to build it up. They simply don't need to.
One of the primary factors at play is Phil Petrocelli's patient drumming. Petrocelli forcefully rides the kick and high-hat, teasing with the bell of his crash until he either has to smash the cymbals or explode, which he also proves he can do quite well. The mix on the album is as bass-heavy as metal albums come, which suits bassist Shane Mehling's playing just fine. Ripping at the strings, beating notes out of his instrument—and several of the monitors on stage last time I saw the band play—Mehling throws gut-wrenching low-end beneath vocalist/guitarist Damian Johnston's hair-raising vocals, and there may not be a better screamer in town.