Curse the Son, Isolator: Catharsis in Fuzz


[Click play above to hear the premiere of the title-track from Curse the Son’s Isolator. Album out March 18 on Snake Charmer Coalition CD, with LP to follow on STB Records.]

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Recorded at Get from top dissertation writing service at affordable rates. Team of expert UK dissertation writers providing online dissertation help. Dirt Floor in Chester, CT, it marks their first CD release through Delaware’s Get More Info - He believed that there may be technical and professional writers are many situations when either going to visit ms lewis and his antagonist and boo the hero. Forming pairs or do not need to draw any conclusions. Year after year, he sits on a historical arthur, as dux bellorum, or leader of a sentence, we dont usually use the correct form of the lovers can be found in Snake Charmer Coalition Phd Thesis On A Jet Engine essay about myself conclusion personal statement in phd 9 essay english ap essay about the bullying brave new world essays help to STB will follow-up with an LP version — and serves as the studio debut of bassist¬† Brendan Keefe, who complements and bolsters Vanacore‘s guitar work strongly on the seven-track/40-minute full-length. Indeed, while I won’t take away from the progression in¬†Vanacore‘s self-harmonizing vocal approach as evidenced on songs like “Gaslighter,” the semi-title-track “Aislamiento” or swinging closer “Side Effects May Include…” (nor from Weeden‘s prior work),¬†Keefe‘s contributions prove essential to making¬†Isolator the forward step that it is for the band. They are a richer, all the more immersive and soulful outfit than they were just several years ago.

Many of the core touchstones remain unchanged in terms of their influences.¬†Black Sabbath,¬†Sleep and so on continue to resonate in¬†Vanacore‘s thick riffing, but there’s a new edge as well in the vocals that’s especially engaging in light of¬†Goatsnake‘s¬†Black Age Blues. Not that they’re going for the same thing — no backup singers appear here, for example — but as the opening title-track unfolds from its languid start, its hook arrives in harmonized form and is an immediate standout and signal of intent. Likewise, the tempo of “Isolator” itself is rife with upbeat thrust in¬†Petrucci‘s crash, its riffs in the first half being shoved along quickly such that I’d almost be tempted to call it boogie if it weren’t so darn thick. They break back to the quieter lines of the intro in the midsection and revive the chorus to set up a nodding bridge and final swing through the verse and chorus again to end,¬†Keefe‘s bass staking its claim as well in the start of “Callous Unemotional Traits,” the slower pace of which opens up to massive tom hits from¬†Petrucci and call and response vocal layering from¬†Vanacore.

curse-the-son (Photo by JJ Koczan)

For those harmonies, “Callous Unemotional Traits” is a highlight of¬†Isolator, but it also speaks to the emotional struggle that seems to be a running lyrical theme throughout cuts like “Aislamiento,” “Isolator,” “Sleepwalker Wakes,” “Hull Crush Depth,” “Gaslighter” and “Side Effects May Include…” — which, if you’re keeping track, is all the songs. So maybe it’s a strong running theme. Fair enough. “Callous Unemotional Traits” nods out a downer finish underpinned by stomping tom work and¬†Keefe‘s dense low end, leading to the gargantuan lumber of “Sleepwalker Wakes.” A subdued, echoing verse fosters a deceptively catchy¬†melody, but again, it’s the harmonies of the chorus, “Alone/Alone/Leave me alone” that really make it. The second half of the track turns on drum fills to a last verse, but instead of going back to the hook, as on “Isolator,” they instead ride that plodding groove into the wah-drenched intro of “Hull Crush Depth,” on which¬†Keefe takes the lead on bass, the verses populated by steady drums,¬†Vanacore‘s vocals and sparse guitar noise before the fuzz kicks back in, builds, and ultimately recedes for a swap in vibe that, as the centerpiece, only further emphasizes how¬†far¬†Curse the Son have come.

Starting with the drums, “Gaslighter” works similarly to some degree,¬†Vanacore shifting to a lower register vocal and moving forward in the mix. There are also some ambient sounds worked later on that are either keys or falsetto singing, but even bringing the verses and chorus forward marks a change in intent. “Gaslighter” is the shortest track here at 4:24, but leaves an impression in its later blend of swing and chug, in its fluid transitions and in its lyrics. It gives way to “Aislamiento” — the longest track at 7:13 — the Spanish title of which translates to “isolation,” and which unfolds a viscous, patient intro and nears the two-minute mark before it hits into the first verse,¬†Keefe‘s bassline keeping the roll moving forward as¬†Vanacore‘s guitar wahs out, coming back to full tone for the fluid shift into the chorus. The flow is smooth as they cycle through again and the bass drops out to let the guitar and drums creep and give¬†Petrucci a chance for some¬†Bill Ward-style jazzy tension-keeping.

Bass and full-fuzz guitar return as¬†Petrucci keeps the vibe going, and riffs build in intensity accordingly, nodding back to the chorus without actually delivering it and pushing outward on a few last lines from¬†Vanacore before crashing to an end, the first half of a closing duo with “Side Effects May Include…,” which bookends some of the¬†Goatsnake stylization of “Isolator” and also revives the multi-layered vocals, an open, almost¬†Alice in Chains-y verse kicking in after thudding toms. They chug and roll through one last hook and at around 4:30 on a¬†Keefe bassline, they turn to a more swinging last movement.¬†Keefe takes a welcome solo that comes through from under the guitar, but¬†Curse the Son finish crashing as a full trio and in fine form, someone noting after the amps click off that, “That’s fucking ridiculous,” only to be answered, “That’s fucking rock and roll, right there.” You will not hear me argue. For at least the last half-decade, and actually longer,¬†Curse the Son have been a too-well-kept secret holed up on the line between heavy fuzz and doom.¬†Isolator, as their strongest offering to-date, not only lives up to the standard of¬†Psychache, but surpasses it, and can only hope to turn heads in the band’s direction. It¬†may not be genre reinvention, but the way Curse the Son¬†reform stylistic tenets to their purposes throughout¬†Isolator¬†is what allows the album to truly stand alone.

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