Burlington Vermont has always had a strong and unique heavy music scene for a city on the smallish side. There’s lots of craft beer and a long winters to get the creative juices flowing maybe. A couple of years ago I found myself in that neck of the woods watching a really excellent band called Writhe destroy the stage at the infamous Nectar’s Metal Monday (which, if you ever have a chance to get there, do it, free admission and awesome poutine). Writhe pounded out jams with this awesome Coalesce meets Knut sonic assault that just mesmerized me. Fast forward a bit and Writhe, unfortunately appears to be no more. However, bassist TJ Maynard has stayed hard at work birthing a new project called Ghastly Sound, and we get to hear their first effort in full here today.
This massive trio is rounded out by drummer Ryan Lewis and vocalist Ty Gurwicz and despite the fact that it doesn’t retread the same ground that Writhe did, these dudes have crafted a sound that they totally own and it slams.
Upon first hearing the EP, I struggled a little to pigeonhole Ghastly Sound’s vibe. After a few listens, its still tough but there’s a lot to LOVE in there, so that’s a good thing. First and foremost, for a band with no guitar, the tone crushes – think Floor/Torche/Red Fang here. There are some parts reminiscent of the chunkier, more distorted areas of the Helmet and Unsane catalog, mixed in with a little nod here and there to bands like Tool and Deftones in their heavier moments as well.
Lewis’s drumming keeps everything locked in a solid groove, while Gurwicz’s vocals alternate between between a clear, razor sharp scream and sung vocals that also recall earlier Deftones. Its an interesting mix where nothing feels nu metal or hard rock in a cringe-inducing way, but glimmers of those stylistic influences poke through a little, melded seamlessly with great songwriting and a grimy stoner metal sensibility that just makes it work really well. I’m also assuming that seeing these guys live is a real treat considering their Facebook page seems to indicate a huge amount of amps that must seriously bring the pain.
Anyway – without any more blabbering we are proud to present the full stream of the Ghastly Sound EP – recorded by Ryan Cohen at Robot Dog Studios and out 10/31/16 via the band on Facebook/bandcamp, etc.