Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 2/1/2005
posted on 5/2005 By:
I am acutely aware of the fact that several of my detractors have labeled me a horrible critic of late- I’m too enthusiastic, too polar, too overwhelmed by emotion to pen a genuinely objective evaluation of records I love (or for the most part, hate). I guess it really doesn’t help my case much when I state that this is quite likely among the best demos I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear in my entire life. Having heard the name Tualatin for a number of years now, I took it upon myself to check out their website, and to be frank, the samples were so audaciously heavy, I ended up listening to nothing else but those three one minute clips for an entire day. In the process of having those songs in perpetual repeat, I bashed the crap out of my drum skins, broke a stool in my room, mangled the top string of my Mockingbird bass and generally resorted to all forms of ill-informed tomfoolery.
Now that I finally have this three song demo in my hands, let me tell you- the appeal of these three songs STILL haven’t worn off. I’m still frothing at the mouth, bleeding from the nose, arms sore from frenetic air drumming. Folks, this shit is really that goddamn heavy, and you would be well advised to ignore the rest of this unashamedly gushing review and buy it from their website right now.
The closest comparison one could draw between Tualatin would be to Relapse phenoms High On Fire. The approach adopted by both outfits is remarkably similar- bass-soaked, cruelly lethal grooves and frantic, busy rhythms all stewed in cauldrons of filth and vomited forth with audacious recklessness. There is no fucking subtlety here, Tualatin have absolutely no regard for your sense of hearing or your threshold for volume, they take no prisoners and have arrived to detonate the circuits on your stereo system.
For all the similarities one could draw towards High On Fire, Tualatin exhibit quite a bit more discipline here, with the MONUMENTAL ‘’Gone So Wrong” resembling Unsane playing through Matt Pike’s setup with its deliberate, stampeding, urgently refraining groove. Arrangements never seem to get too busy for their own good and while each musician inserts their share of deft fills, nothing is overdone to the point of being overtly chaotic or messy. As a result, everything sounds remarkably focused and meticulous here, each musician playing within the boundaries of the SONG, the efforts of each coagulating into one merciless, sinewy, nihilistic dreadnaught. This is one of those records that defines the term POWER trio- drums sound like thunderbolts, the downtuned bass seeps through the speakers like torrents of magma, Sunn-amplified guitars erect bloodied, impenetrable parapets of sound. I do often wish the kick drum could have been isolated from the mix a little more, but all in all it's a rather minor complaint. I LOVE the vocals here too, Jeff sounds like the Fu Manchu dude with a serious attitude problem, hahaha.
For a band that is so vehemently dedicated to pushing the borders of volume, the songwriting here is sensitive and meticulously developed. “Gone So Wrong” is a veritable masterpiece in raucous, overamplified rock n’roll, a stumbling monstrosity that offers one homicidal groove after another, repeating each enough times to evoke a genuinely intoxicating feel. Just when you think a riff is about to outstay its welcome, cue in the salvo of double bass and swift riff change to slap you across the face…fucking hell, there’s not a dull moment on this goddamn thing. This demo is practically flawless, thirteen relentless minutes of cataclysmic nastiness. If you like High On Fire and Lair Of The Minotaur, trust me when I say that Tualatin have the songwriting finesse and the equipment to potentially outdo them both. Dense, rancid, essential…and it comes with a t-shirt!
I think I have a new favorite unsigned band.
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