Beartooth “Sick” EP Review
Anyone familiar with the sound of Caleb Shomo’s killer screams and keyboard mixes from his days as frontman of crabcore band, Attack Attack!, will be ecstatic to know that the days of waiting for what’s next from the young Mr. Shomo are officially over. Embarking on a new musical expedition as the lead vocalist for newly formed Beartooth, Shomo and the rest of the four-piece metalcore group have released a four track EP, entitled Sick. This, albeit small, sampling offers a good taste of the well-executed instrumentals and production that Beartooth has methodically developed, largely via Shomo’s home studio.
Sick starts off with “I Have A Problem”, and the pulsing intro was delectable insight into the heavy song about to come, setting much of the overall tone for the rest of EP. The song makes full use of Caleb’s impressive vocals, which have far improved from his Attack Attack! days. “I Have A Problem” also showcases some deeply personal lyrics, describing a man’s battle with alcohol addiction and abuse. “Go Be The Voice”, ostensibly meant to be anthemic and rallying, includes some insane riff-filled instrumentation and a top-notch vocal performance. “Pick Your Poison” was by far the highlight off Sick, with truly technical guitar work, explosive drumming, and intensely high energy throughout, making it a definite frontrunner for fan favorite. The song also includes debatably one of the catchiest lines in hardcore music to date, repetitively chanting “I’m not useless, I’m just the king of excuses”.
With “Pick Your Poison” it is clear that Shomo has truly found his vocal niche, adding to the southern hardcore feeling permeating throughout the album, evocative of bands such as Every Time I Die, Dillinger Escape Plan, Norma Jean, or Cancer Bats, to name a few. The EP closes with “Set Me On Fire”, culminating the small but mighty album with an impressive bang, hitting listener’s in the face one last time with a powerful amalgamation of well implemented instrumentals and vocals. “Set Me On Fire” is indeed mosh worthy, and it encompasses the overarching themes of the album nicely; renewed passion, high intensity, and above all honesty.
Sick is definitely a remarkable notch in Beartooth’s belt, as they embark on taking the hardcore scene by storm. While only four tracks, this is unquestionably an album to be proud of, meticulously polished and tightly performed. Love him or hate him, Caleb Shomo is back with an uncontainable zealousness for producing hardcore tracks with stellar quality and substance to boot. There’s no doubt in my mind that Beartooth has the potential to be the next household name in hardcore music. Get ready, cause here they come!