Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gladiators Eat Fire - Psychedelic Hogwash




Another day and there's another noisy Seattle band popping up or so it seems. It's fairly easy to pigeon hole Gladiators Eat Fire as living directly of and coming out of the bowels of that particular mushroom cloud since their bio describes them as an organic psychedelic hardcore movement. However, with their first EP, "Keep The Beat Alive" released in 2008, it's clear that despite being a young band, Gladiators Eat Fire are far from green and inexperienced although they are definitely experimental.

In many ways, the band are either a reviewer's dream or nightmare because nailing their sound down pat is akin to playing pin the tail on the donkey with a live animal. The band chop and change their sound with greater frequency than a third world transportation system. Unsuspecting listeners will easily dismiss opener "Dispossessed" as sludgy hardcore due to its slow and heavy start with microphone swallowing shouted grunts but the midway through the song changes with melodic chanting with more indie type sounds ensuring a good time but won't be heard any time at a monastery near you. If the Birthday Party discovered funk and speed simultaneously then they might have just come up with the noisy dance trance "For a Second I Thought I was going to Die".

Listening to "This Shit is Chiamus", it's a challenge not to think of Nomeansno, even if the vocals sound nothing like the elderly canucks, but as the band possess the same freaky ability to switch style mid-song and keep a listener interested while the drummer moves from pounding demons from his chosen instrument to a more loving caress whenever the mood takes him. "The New Paridigm" begins with yelling over buzzsaw guitars yet transforms into Fugazi nightmares about maybe more than just stage diving and T-shirts.

Those who think hardcore is nothing but noise will have their delusions shattered by this EP. Gladiators Eat Fire are a band who challenge genre purists to think outside the mosh pit. So remember, hogwash is better than no wash at all and Psychedelic Hogwash is cleansing.

4/5



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