Sunday, May 1, 2011

Album Review: Short Bus Pile Up - Repulsive Display of Human Upholstery

For the love of all that is brutal this album is good. I had heard from a friend or two that is was one of the best releases of last year, and after listening through it multiple times I wouldn't say they were incorrect, because this is in fact a fantastic album. Hailing from Fredericksburg, VA, Short Bus Pile Up play a mix of brutal death metal and slam, and they blend the genres with shocking fluidity. One moment it'll sound like I'm listening to some new Cannibal Corpse, then the next minute I feel like I'm listening to Abominable Putridity. This isn't a bad thing, however, because as previously mentioned, the blending of the styles is very smooth and nothing ever feels tacked on.

Then there are the instruments, all of which do a great job for the most part. As is to be expected, the bass is nearly inaudible, but I'm pretty much used to that being the case with most heavy music. I would have really liked more of an emphasis on the bass, because if used correctly it can make a slam band sound much heavier than it would be without, but what can ya do? The guitars play brilliantly placed chromatic riffs that sound unbelievably heavy at points and never let up. The drums however are the prized jewel of the band. Some drum parts are ridiculously fast and intricate, like the blast beats in "Urethral Myaisis," while some parts are slow, yet brutal enough to keep the slams nice and heavy.

And the slams, oh the slams. I haven't heard a band that uses slams so intelligently since Abominable Putridity. It never feels like the songs revolve around them, but there are plenty to go around to keep you headbanging. It is easy to lose track of which song you're listening to however, which is my other problem with the album. A lot of the tracks sound eerily similar to each other on the surface, and unless one is listening very closely it's easy to get lost.

The two qualms I have with this album shouldn't be an invitation to ignore it however. Repulsive Display of Human Upholstery is an extremely solid release from an up-and-coming band that you need to keep an eye out for. Definitely one of the top releases of 2010.


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