Deathbeds Get to the Core of the Matter

Philly five-piece (now four) Deathbeds seem to be interested in offering as little bullshit as possible on their latest EP, No Funeral, so I’ll see if I can’t follow suit in my review. Originally released in an issue of 300 green 7” vinyls by Young Lungs Ltd. in January, the band has it up as a pay-what-you-want download and No Funeral also got a cassette pressing (it’s the latest) of 50 courtesy of Be at Peace Records. So it’s out there. There are three tracks – “No Funeral,” “Tyranny of Will” and “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death” – and you’re done in just under 12 minutes. On the off chance you’re interested, I got the cassette so I could play it in my car.

Deathbeds occupy the curious space between stoner riffing – generally thought of in more of a rock context – and heavier, more aggressive music. Vocalist Mike Murro definitely has a -core feel to his growling, whether it comes from deathcore, hardcore, metalcore or whatever the kids are calling it this week, I don’t know, but he changes up the approach with tradeoffs to high-pitched screams that remind me of a new school interpretation of Chris Barnes, but, you know, over doom. The guitar work of Stephen Edelson and Eric Saccomanno (the latter no longer in the band) offers few frills but plenty of memorable riffing, offering a lockstep groove for the rhythm section of Chris Cherasaro (bass) and Dave Cherasaro (drums) – gee, I wonder if they’re related – to fill out with suitable rumble and crash.

The production on No Funeral is minimal – as it should be for music this pummeling; too smooth and it wouldn’t work – but Deathbeds have no problem getting their guitar-led ideas across on any of the songs. On the cassette version, I thought Cherasaro’s drums were too low on the title track, but listening to the download version, it doesn’t seem to be a problem, and when the song launches into its strongest groove at about 2:15, the snare cuts through just fine. “Tyranny of Will” (can’t you just see some straightedge dude with that tattooed on the back of his neck?) skillfully changes its pacing while maintaining a smooth flow, going from mid-paced to faster, to slower and even throwing a little boogie in when no one’s looking. Not much boogie though, don’t get the wrong idea. No Funeral is way more “punch you in the face” than it is “let’s grab a beer and be friends.”

That central aggression bleeds into closer “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death,” as well, with Murro laying back over an intro only to offer a lung-wrenching scream after about a minute and a half. I guess this is the part where I namedrop Eyehategod, but that feels done more out of obligation than actual fit as a comparison. Really what Deathbeds seem to be doing is taking their anger out on the doom genre. It’s a kind of groove metal that’s not actually groove metal, but whatever genre name you want to give, I have the feeling we’re going to be hearing a lot more of it in the years to come as the formerly swoopy-haired white belts grow up and drop the kung fu altogether. As regards No Funeral: no complaints. Deathbeds are good at what they’re doing and though you should probably not listen to their EP while driving, lest you go on some murderous rampage and wake up the next day in a prison hospital, in a safe and isolated environment, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Deathbeds on MySpace

Young Lungs Ltd.

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One Response to “Deathbeds Get to the Core of the Matter”

  1. […] way more “punch you in the face” than it is “let’s grab a beer and be friends.” – The Obelisk/StonerRock.com This band is going to kick some serious ass in the next year I think, and […]

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