Gaskill ‘Special Weapons’ EP review at Dead Rhetoric
Gaskill – Special Weapons (75orless Records)
The follow up to 2015’s The End of the World and Our War albums (the latter their tribute to Black Flag), Special Weapons is a five-song EP that sees the New Bedford, MA unit solider forward in their primal crossover hardcore/thrash sonic blend that keeps things pure and true. One minute the band channel inner Danzig or early Life of Agony for “Small Cake”, and the next swiftly kick rear-ends in D.R.I. meets Nuclear Assault madness during “Slow Crows”. Expect raw emotion, in your face punchy tones, guitar riffs that crawl out of your speakers to attack, and true half-time doomy transitions without forcing the ‘breakdown’ while vocalist Kevin Grant floats his psychedelic, forceful delivery into your soul. Proof that crossover contains potency even in 2018.
Review of Gaskill’s Special Weapons
If you pay attention to our Facebook page then you know we were so enamored by all the bands at the recent record release show for Death Kiss Volume 2 that we decided that we HAD to do a feature on all the current Bandcamp discogs from the bands that performed at the show.
But GASKILL just put out a new record. So we decided that we’d feature that instead. And still talk about their Bandcamp discography.
But I digress.
Believe it or not, my first exposure to GASKILL was the track they contributed to the latest Death Kiss compilation (Which you can read all about by clicking here). Once again, Mary Frances can pat herself on the back knowing she brought to light another local gem to, not just to me, but to so many others through the comp and her show on WEMF. And in turn, I get to shed a little more light through my medium of communication. Circle of life and all that shit.
So “I Am The Spider” was my favorite on the comp and it closes up Special Weapons nicely here. Like I said on my initial take of the track, it’s like Jello Biafra fronting Anthrax….but boy does Kevin Grant have range beyond that. In fact, my FIRST impression was that of the second coming of Stompbox while live they definitely added elements of early Clutch to their repertoire.
In other words, GASKILL is a mutt. A glorious mutt made from the bestest of the best to create this musical beast/hound of beauty. If you go back through their discography (See! I told you I’d go there!) which dates back to 1996 (The band formed in 1995), the evolution into this multi-faceted behemoth that offers you new music today is obviously apparent.
“I Know Your Name” is blistering and intense and, much like their Black Flag covers album (Our War, available here), is also direct and to the point. With Kevin Grant’s voice stabbing at listeners as Dan Jagoda’s cacophonous drumming and Craig Fleming’s wall of noise guitar fuzz provide the perfect soundtrack of organized chaos.
“Small Cake” alters the tone vastly with a slow groove that rumbles along like molasses with Grant’s bellows echoing out and resonating, careening into an almost Danzig-esque chorus. “Salt” really lets Mario Costa’s bass barrage shine during a track that encapsulates some of the great noise of Boston yesteryear (Think Sam Black Church and Tree in particular) while “Slow Crows” is all crunchy and dirty and gritty and all the things until it becomes a thrashing rager.
And “I Am The Spider” closes it all up. And you already know how we feel about that one.
Gaskill Special Weapons
75OL-269 Gaskill – Special Weapons
$7.00 S&H Included
$7.00 S&H Included
Digital download and free streaming available here
1. I Know Your Name
2. Small Cake
4. Slow Crows
5. I Am A Spider
GASKILL formed in 1995 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, releasing 2 demos and the Granite Iron Oak album before going on hiatus in 2002. The band reformed in 2015 with Chris Helme on drums, releasing an album of new material, The End of the World, and an album of Black Flag covers (Our War).
Gaskill at Pour Farm Tavern
Pour Farm Tavern
New Bedford, MA
Gaskill at The Pour Farm
with Kill (formerly lll)
New Bedford, Mass
Gaskill at The Met
with Pistol Shot Gypsy, Signal to Noise, and SexCoffee
Gaskill at Firehouse 13
with Candiria, Dalek, and Reason to Fight
Gaskill at ONCE Somerville
with Scissorfight, Roadsaw, Worshipper, & Hey Zeus
156 Highland Ave
Gaskill at Midway Cafe
Benefit for the Sparta project featuring Oxblood Forge, Arctic Horror, and Isolated Antagonist
3496 Washington St
Jamaica Plain, Mass
Gaskill at No Problemo
813 Purchase St
New Bedford, Mass