Thursday, June 3, 2010

Short Bus Pile Up - Repulsive Display of Human Upholstery (Sevared Records; 2010)

Tyler and co. are no strangers to this blog. I first reviewed their demo in September of last year and they responded favorably to my criticism, which basically ended up being "fuck off with the samples and learn to write more in-depth, extended songs; however, your snare tone and slams are both impeccable". Now that I finally have this album in my hands after last weekend's excellent MDF VIII, I can finally air my new criticisms about SBPU.


Just kidding, I don't have much to complain about. This is fucking badass. They took my advice on the snare tone ("if you guys change the snare tone I'll be really angry with you.") and didn't touch it at all, as Tyler let me in on the fact that drummer Dave Dement's snare tone is his pride and joy. It sounds distinctly Colombian (pingy, steely, and fucking awesome), yet is used in a distinctly TXDM slam way; there isn't much in the way of all out blastbeat sections here but there are plenty of one-handed snare rolls. SBPU doesn't really extend their songwriting prowess beyond a certain level here (that level being "solid"), but what is present is enough to leave the listener begging for more, which is essentially a very good quality of a debut album. What good is it if a band totally kicks your ass with their first album? What do you have to look forward to of theirs in the future? Most likely that's just a setup for the critical failure of the "sophomore album", so I'm glad that they decided to try their hands at slightly longer songs for the full-length, but still left enough grey area to develop on the next one.

Elliott and Ryan both know how to write fucking excellent sections of songs, replete with excellent, charging slams and slower breakdown sections. In this sense, a lot of the songwriting is very Abominable Putridity; there are pretty much zero concessions for anything non-slamming on here, which makes me happy. Tyler also proves that he is a competent guitarist, as he performed extra guitar on every track here. His vocals are guttural yet understandable, and remain as such from their surprisingly-great demo from last year. "Stench of Her Burning Flesh" is a new song that features a very awesome goregrind/pornogrind mid-section which is also mildly present on a few other songs including the first, "Ball-Peen Beating". I greatly welcome this influence and think it's really an interesting one to work with; pornogrind kind of stuff generally operates in its own limited sphere, because it's extremely limited and ridiculous, and it's kind of funny and interesting to see a total Rompeprop section in a slam song. The end of this song includes some screaming which sounds distinctly like The Locust, which sort of sucks and sounds silly in a not-so-good way, but I'm sure some people will appreciate it, and it's kind of an isolated incident, so no big deal.

"Fecal Matters" is once again a great song but way too short, and it feels like they could do a lot more to draw it out with its strong slamming riffs and the excellent production on display here. I suppose that the integrity of the original songs was intended to remain the same, so I can't really fault that, but I hope the next album has more NEW songs, and that said new songs display more thought regarding how to proceed after the lyrics are exhausted or after the one or two slams present in the song are utilized to the fullest extent.

So essentially the biggest criticism I can level against this band is that they need to learn to challenge themselves more in regards to songwriting and not just take the extreme basic way out of ending songs short due to worry that they won't sound good in a longer form. Take some chances and develop your music, guys. It's fucking excellent how it is, regardless. The snare is probably the best in modern slam (not even a little bit joking), the slams are incredibly heavy, groovy and destructive, and the vocals are solid as hell. There just needs to exist some amount of effort put into tying these things together longer for a minute or two. A few songs hint at this but not much really comes of it. The band clearly knows how to kick major ass, but I wish it was a slightly longer, challenging ass-kicking. Perhaps I'm wishing too much out of this band? Who knows. Regardless, if you want a pretty fucking awesome debut by a band that only has potential to get more awesome, get this ASAP.

Oh, and the title track gets kind of disturbing about halfway through. I'm sad that the title of the album has less to do with the entire album than I wish, because it's a cool cover and title which Cephalotripsy once had claim to and lost for a similar reason.


Gun said...

Great review, great album. I love the production! I was hoping this new release would follow suit with their AMAZING '09 Demo, and thankfully it did. Heavy-as-a-motherfucker slams, awesome production, guttural and in your face vocals, and impeccable drumming. Well done, boys.

lunatic said...

I don't know why do you keep saying that this is their first full-lenght. They had WKTDFDWBAS in 2006. But since that album isn't slam, you're half correct :) Anyways, great review!

Andy Phelps said...

Yeah, I mean that this is their first full-length anyone cares about ;)

Nick Adams said...

"What good is it if a band totally kicks your ass with their first album? What do you have to look forward to of theirs in the future? Most likely that's just a setup for the critical failure of the "sophomore album"" --->Infernal Revulsion anyone?

I'm excited to listen to this. Sounds really good.

Gun said...

Trust me Nick, it most definitely is. If you liked their most recent demo recording, then you'll love this. Packed to the brim with bone crushing slams, and face smashing brutality, you cant go wrong. Lemme know how you like it!

Short Bus Pile Up said...

Awesome! Another review. We really appreciate all the hype and support this album has brought us. It pleases me greatly to read this review because I feel like, behind the scenes we're one step ahead of the fanbase, but releasing it one step behind haha. We've been waiting to release these tracks for 2 years but couldn't find a label to help us with the production we needed. That was the purpose of the 09 hopefully get us out there. It worked and thus the recording process began. However we hit a lot of bumps in the road when it came to getting this done. We spent maybe 24 hours in the studio due to snow and studio remodeling, which set us back a lot and things didn't get done that we had hoped to do.

The good news is, we're well ahead of the game and have started work on a 2011 promo of 3 tracks. We just finished the first of the three which is a strong 3 mins 40 seconds. We're definitely trying to enhance both our quality as well as song length. I've been writing stuff like a machine and shit's coming along great. Expect great things for the upcoming releases!

Thanks again to all who have checked this out and thanks to you Andy for the review!

BTW! Anything released before our Putrid Pelvic Prolapse EP (and that's not even the current lineup) is not considered a release from this band. I personally have the rights to those horrible tracks because I made them to mock the over saturation of cybercore bands on myspace...didn't expect it to blow up like it did. We didn't find out how popular it was until after we decided to use the name for the full BDM line up. *IF YOU OWN ANY OF THOSE "RELEASES" DELETE THEM OR TOSS THEM IN THE TRASH!*

Thanks guys!

Andy Phelps said...

Tyler, that sounds great! I know the new demo/promo will slam the fans to fucking death...good to hear. No problem on the review, you're probably one of the most congenial people in the scene right now, so it's good to be able to give criticism and support and have it be noticeable.