They?re in and out in under 15 minutes, and in that time the Floridian trio Shroud Eater manage to give an impressive showing of sludge and noise on their self-titled demo. With artwork from guitarist/vocalist Jeannie Saiz and a logo that says ?stoner rock? as much as any riff ever could, the three tracks present, ?We are Beasts,? ?Vesuvius? and ?Cyclone,? respectively, offer doom by way of a ?90s alternative influence. They call it Jesus Lizard, and there?s some early Neurosis in there, maybe by way of Kylesa. No complaints, in any case.
?We are Beasts? opens with a disconcerting riff and gives away its chorus quickly in punk rock fashion. The groove to the song is central and complex — Shroud Eater waste no time in showing they?re capable of toying with structure to get a point across. After two verses and choruses, an instrumental section takes hold, then the cycle repeats and the track ends with a modified version of the verse riff, only to find ?Vesuvius? starting with a tom solo from drummer Felipe Torres before feedback fades up and Saiz and bassist Janette Valentine move into the song proper. It?s here the Neurosis influence, such as it is, comes out, and mostly in Saiz?s shouting vocal approach.
Like ?We are Beasts,? ?Vesuvius? features a long instrumental section at the end, in this case for the last two minutes of the song. Saiz solos while Valentine lays down some subtle but interesting work beneath and Torres helps to build the tension that brings about the eventual climax. As ?Cyclone? is instrumental, Shroud Eater have left us with the line, ?Will we escape our deadly fate?? and if the final of the three included cuts is any standard by which to measure, no, we won?t. By far the most doomed Shroud Eater material on the disc so far, ?Cyclone? has a plod and stomp mentality that, although Torres? snare drum sound cuts through the mix a little too much, carries across quite nicely the notion that there?s more to the band than hardcore noise for grown-ups. They alternate tempos and shift gears fluidly, closing with sustained notes from Saiz and a couple seconds to think about what we just learned.
As it happens, what we just learned is that this Miami outfit is quite possibly onto something. Their take on noise is like AmRep for the literati and if the demo is any indication, there?s limitless potential for how they can develop their sound. Here?s looking forward to finding out what comes next.Florida, Miami, Noise, Shroud Eater, Unsigned bands