Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pulling Teeth - Funerary

Been really busy these past few days. There was the Super Bowl which I didn't give a fuck about, rampaging fans all over the school with riot police, flashbangs and rubber bullets, class work, and a bunch of other shit. I also acquired around 2gbs of hip hop and have been listening to a lot of crust lately.

And thus I shall begin my triumphant return to the blogging world with Pulling Teeth's aptly titled final album, Funerary.

Pulling Teeth plays ballsy hardcore punk that is often similar to (real) metalcore or crustcore. Funerary is my first foray into Pulling Teeth's music, and it is exactly what I expected based on that description: heavily riff-based hardcore with some intense breakdowns and pissed off vocals. Following the worthwhile keyboard intro "A Bitter Harvest," crustcore anthem "From Birth" unleashes a full myriad of furies upon the listener. It's got all the fast, metallic riffing of crust as well as the soloing, the absolutely ferocious vocalwork of Mike Riley, and it all coalesces into a breakdown. The song clocks in at just under three minutes, and on the first half of Funerary that's pretty long.

The tracks following the awesome opener, "Extinction" and "Brain Drain," are both further exercises in the style. The former opens with a grinding riff followed by a breakdown, while the latter is an exercise in more traditional hardcore with its d-beats and shouts. As you can expect from the label "metallic hardcore," some of the tracks on Funerary are a bit more metal influenced, like "The New Dark Age." This isn't a bad thing by any means, but these tracks are a bit more slow to mid-paced. They're placed in the middle of Funerary as a transition. As the album closes, the tracks get longer and much more slow-paced. "Funerary" is a droning exercise in doom-structuring that continues through "At Peace" and the clean vocals and solo-driven "Whispers." It's a fitting conclusion to the band's career and the name of the album applies perfectly here. However these songs are a bit slower and more predictable, and often delve into sludge territory.

Musically speaking Pulling Teeth doesn't do this doom-influenced style perfectly despite it being fitting for the album, but since it fits the dismal atmosphere of the album so well I'll cut them some slack. The production is also very "metallic" for lack of a better word, with high gain and reverb, which adds to this atmosphere. Shame to see these guys go since the album is pretty awesome, even if the later tracks are a bit weak in their execution.

7.75 out of 10


1. A Bitter Harvest
2. From Birth
3. Extinction
4. Brain Drain
5. The New Dark Age
6. Grudgeholder
7. Plastic Tombs
8. Funerary
9. At Peace
10. Whispers
11. Waiting
12. August 29

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