Release Date: Mar 13, 2012
Record label: Prosthetic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Punk/New Wave, Hardcore Punk, Screamo
Loud. Fast. Riffy. Primitive Weapons are a full-on assault. When life gets bleak, you can either run from the world’s ills or face them head on. And for their debut full-length, this Brooklyn five-piece has chosen the latter strategy – from the war cries of ‘Quitters Anthem’ to the sludgy ….
If your appetite was whetted by last year's debut single from Brooklyn's Primitive Weapons-- the A-side of which, "Politics & Oblivion", is available for your streaming at the group's Bandcamp-- the seeming lack of meat on The Shadow Gallery's bones is probably going to initially disappoint. After all, when a group debuts with a single that's able to encapsulate everything great about the ever-widening hardcore/metal nexus-- the grandeur of Isis, the precision of Dillinger Escape Plan, the fury and power of a lot of other folks-- and inject it with the sort of unavoidable catchiness that's helped bring groups like Torche and Kylesa to wider audiences, one would hope that when an album arrives the trick is turned as often as possible. Instead, at just under 25 minutes, Primitive Weapons' first non-single recording barely qualifies as a full-length.
The opening echoed rumble of drums on "Good Hunting" and the precise screams and snarl once the singing and riffs kick in bespeak something of Primitive Weapons' New York locale -- there's just something in the atmosphere that seems half gang-shout attitude, half arty soundscape, for all the familiar metal trappings. The template of drum-heavy start and then brawling attack carries through a fair amount of songs on The Shadow Gallery, but the results can be spectacular -- "Oath" almost starts as a distant martial/circus combination before hyperspeed chunky riffing fires everything up. Other times it's almost as twisted and freakish as the kind of stuff getting the emo label in the 1990s, but if it was really aggressive and sounded massive -- whatever went into the band's production and mastering deserves major credit, turning the feelings of "Or Do Ideas Have You?" into something pretty apocalyptic.