Hivesmasher’s “Gutter Choir” is the sound of crazy pushed to the point where songs could fall apart with the slightest nudge from an extra drum beat, scream, or guitar note.
“That’s a line we live on,” says Hivesmasher drummer Tim Brault. “Some songs teeter on the edge of losing it. Early Slayer is like that. It’s like they were trying to cram so much into a song so fast that it sounds like it’s about to break.”
“Gutter Choir” is the latest from the Mass grindcore troupe comprised of singer Aaron Heinold, guitarists Tyler Kingsland and Julius Hayden, keyboard player Dan Bolton, bass player Ali Ghorashi, and Brault. Black Market Activities released the tunes on vinyl LP and downloads, which are available on Bandcamp and usual outlets. Indiemerch.com is also carrying the vinyl.
After a few lineup changes, Hivesmasher drops the hammer in a big way with this album that veers from minute-and-a-half blow outs to longer beat downs, like the five-minute “Damage (P)inc.” The songs titles alone are entertaining _ “Vomitouch,” “Can of Awesometism,” “The Shit Waltz.”
But this ain’t novelty metal. Heinold brings the hell down on every song, with a mix of punk economy and disciplined spazzed-out thrash guitar riffs backing his vocal assaults. There's not much concern for orthodoxy, as you find singer Jake Burns from death-prog outfit Pathogenic joining in on the particularly scabby “Used Food.”
Pathogenic and Hivesmasher aren’t exactly tapping the same veins, but this collaboration works, basically because both bands put musicality ahead of genre.
“We won’t like a band just because it’s a grindcore band or dislike a band just because it is not a grindcore band,” says Brault.
And besides, the dudes in Hivesmasher and Pathogenic are buds going way back. Other guests on the record include Guy Kozowyk from The Red Chord, Nate Johnson from Fit for an Autopsy, and Eric Taranto from Dysentery.
Even though Hivesmasher crams a shitload of ideas into “Gutter Choir” (spacey keyboards- check. bile-spewing cover of Foo Fighters’ “Everlong”- check), this record is oozing its goods rather than serving them up all hermetically sealed.
“I have pretty strong opinions about producing a metal album,” says Brault who co-produced this disc. “A lot of metal records_ and heavy music in general_ is missing the energy that people are supposed to like about it.”
Hivesmasher went for a “record it live” approach, and got in shape by playing a lot of shows before heading into the studio. It paid off, and now comes time to get back out on stage.
Hivesmasher is performing Wednesday, Nov. 21, at The Palladium in Worcester, MA, with headliners Gaza plus Code Orange Kids, Full of Hell, Great American Ghost, The Navidson Record, and Monoliths. The show starts at 6:30 p.m.
Hivesmasher then has its eye on a Dec. 20 show at Great Scott in Allston, MA, followed by a January tour into Canada.
“What better time to head to Canada than middle of winter, right?,” Brault posits.
Ah, but your music already gave you away as anything but conventional. Looking forward to a Black Wednesday before Thanksgiving