Primate

Draw Back A Stump

 

01. Draw Back A Stump
02. Global Division
03. Hellbound
04. Silence Of Violence
05. Drinking And Driving
06. March Of The Curmudgeon
07. Wasted Youth
08. Pride
09. Get The Fuck Off My Lawn
10. Reform?

[07/03/12]
[Relapse Records]

Of course, the main talking point here is that Primate are a hardcore supergroup featuring members of Brutal Truth, Mastodon, Javelina and Otophobia, it would be near enough impossible to ignore it. However, what is just as important, is the fact that Primate don’t really sound like any of those aforementioned projects. This is more obviously a group of people coming together to make an album of music in the vein of some bands they all clearly love; an album where Black Flag rubs shoulders with Bad Brains while staring directly into the eyes of early Napalm Death and tapping directly into the primal energy that made all those bands great.

The core of the Primate sound is very simple — take the frantic and hurried shouts of Kevin Sharp and set it against a backdrop of d-beats, grinding blasts and punk infused riffs. You only have to listen to the slow aching crawl of ‘March Of The Curmudgeon‘, the tension building intro of ‘Hellbound‘ and it’s subsequent ‘shout-along’ chorus or the 50 second clusterfuck of ‘Get Off My Lawn‘ to realise how strangely compelling it is. Draw Back A Stump doesn’t aim for big and clever, instead it bypasses that completely and heads directly for the bar and the record player, picking up a copy of Banned In D.C. on the way.

Crazed ranting marks the beginning of the title track, tackling the subject of ‘chaos theory’ of all things, but beyond that initial shock the real standout point here is the riffs. They’re primitive in a way that if it were any other band you could brush them off as lazy and uninspired, but instead here, when combined with the clearly proficient solos and lead work, they provide the perfect wormhole directly back to 1980 when hardcore was still hardcore punk. The presence of Bill Kelliher also seems no coincidence, seeing as his ‘dayjob band’ recently re-found their love of mixing subtly complex guitar work with more traditional song layouts as well.

By now, it should be quite obvious that Draw stands more as a tribute to a style of music rather than standalone piece itself, but when it’s done with much vitriol and conviction it’s hard to fault them for it. To this point, it’s probably worth mentioning that ‘Drinking And Driving‘ is definitely a highlight — it’s looser and far more chaotic than the classic version by Black Flag, but somehow it even manages to give the original a run for it’s money. A purely sacrilegious statement, for sure, but Sharp’s vocals take the whole thing in a different direction and lend a sense of urgency that wasn’t nearly as apparent in the original. Which is, in fact, a good way of looking at the album — Primate have made a hardcore record that is distinctly traditional, while still making occasional nods at all manner of more recent advancements, which twists the entire record just enough that it sounds modern and exciting.

Primate’s Draw Back A Stump gets…

4/5

 

– DL

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