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TUSK
"Get Ready" CD

HWC008
Release Date: 08/02
Track Listing:

  1. Dracula Dragon Trick
  2. Uptown Nights
  3. Make a Mess
  4. Get Ready
  5. A Animal Has a Nice Day
  6. Green Love
  7. Blood
  8. Six-Act Descent to the Lower Reaches
  9. So Long, Farewell
"Tusk is three-fourths of Pelican with vocals. I learned of them through a friend who said I best pick up Tusk's album when I saw Pelican live. I'm glad I did. Tusk is the equivalent of an audio mugging. They kind of fit in with Mastodon a bit, but are way noisier and way more hardcore inflected. Tusk is beyond heavy, they are enormous. I imagine the last Cavity record was supposed to sound like this in parts. Raw, savage, total rock'n'roll. The riffs are absolute rib-spreaders, laying waste to perfectly maintained physiologies. The bass mainly doubles the guitar, but is beyond thick, and occasionally mangles your senses with a fretboard raping worthy of thrown goats, although the rest of the band is so loud and noisey that you hardly realize the undulating rhythms. The drums, as in Pelican, are devastatingly conservative, although Tusk gets the double-bass treatment nearly non-stop. The vocal assault is mainly driven by meaty-screaming that should embarass most grind frontmen. Evil. The occasional whispers, talking, and insane warblings only add fuel to the fire. Tusk drops the rock right on your mis-shapen skull. Although this record comes in at under 20 minutes, it truly gives you a workout. Off-kilter rhythms, speeding, slowing, grooving, grinding, and just plain rocking your Chuck Taylors off. You need it to stop to rest, but then you need to restart it to get rocked all over again. I love this cd, maybe even more than Pelican. Where Pelican delivers fury with drama, Tusk goes for your jugular and drinks from it after wrenching it from your puny throat, without the fanfare of identifying, stalking, and eventually slaying a victim. Tusk simply kills whatever it sees. Satan smiles. If you've been looking long and hard for a sitar being used to brutalize your senses, listen to green love. the droning indian instrument seems perfectly at place amidst the gang-beating your ears are taking. it's quirky counter-melody fits well and fits not at all within the same breathe. genious. there is also a mandolin, later on in the record (very subtle), as well as bowed guitar, slide guitar, and keys (although the keys are the hardest thing to find amidst the blood-shed). The lyrics are top knotch. period. short stories with bizarre plotlines and a raging presence on delivery. the very first track is about putting rubber solvent in someone's circulatory system. nice! it is also nicely poetic. take for instance: lonely night drive through gary, glistening pools of petrol fuel showing rainbow hues in city lights. the glowing man told me to wait right here for him. from six-act descent to the lower reaches. cool. My only complaint is that tusk doesn't really finish a song so much as they just stop playing it. it gives the record a lean edge, but also conveys that the bedlam was too much to adequately tag endings onto. they also tend to start very abruptly now that you mention it. it's okay. you want ease-ins and ease-outs, listen to godspeed you! black emperor. As far as the metal goes, you can expect big doom riffs, grindy progressions, and discordant hardcore stabs as well. it sometimes seems like illegitimate death metal, but is way better than death metal usually is. it is also often mathy, minus the homework and attention span. excellent."
Fubarm

"The cover art would lead the passerby to believe that he was about to purchase an old Styx record, but when you put this fucker on, it's all over. Tusk would butt fuck Dennis DeYound to death. This is the rawest, most brutal, most stripped down, primitive hardcore record I've heard in a long time. Highly recommended after a violent breakup or when you receive an e-mail telling you that the magazine you poor your heart and soul into sucks a fat cock."
Layers Magazine

"A few weeks before this writing, I finally got a chance to witness the new Chicago spectacle called Pelican. This new Hydrahead (Cave In, Isis) band pounded through Isis-like stoner metal with accessible riffage, sludging rhythms, and change ups galore. Their riffs were so hook-laden, that the guitarists grinned before each breakdown, as if to say "Oh my god, I'm just about to play this REALLY sick riff. I'm soooooo excited!" By the end of their set, I was nodding slowly to what might be construed as a slow motion head-bang. Word on the street says that Tusk is Pelican's sister band, as many claimed that it's "Pelican, but with vocals" which left the intrigue of what the vocals might sound like. Tusk takes from the same roots as Pelican, but aligns itself more with Hydrahead bands from five years ago. Metallic hardcore that's more Slayer than Warzone, Tusk comes off as a less competent Converge, which is okay because Converge is sometimes capable of inhuman feats. It has all the stylings of a Boston band circa 1997, although it has a midtempo Midwestern swing to it. The songs also clock in at about a minute and a half each, which really just makes it an EP if we were to keep comparing it to Cave In and Converge. Luckily, the performance is sincere and lacks the glossy contrived feeling other contemporaries in this genre somehow manage (Poison the Well, Hopes Fall, etc.). If I were to coach this band, I'd suggest to take it one direction (metal or hardcore) instead of halfway doing both."
Media Reader

"Wretchedly disharmonic and even more of a raw flavor than a dump truck of fresh hamburger, Tusk is a sonic assault from multiple ends of the scatterbrained metal scene. With just as much of the thick stoner-spazz sound of Iron Monkey and Keelhaul as the numbing fuzz of the almost Godflesh textures as main focus points, they all congeal themselves to a savage techni-metalcore base layered in noise and very cerebral beats. Without pushing this in any one way, I can't accurately label this anything but devastating. The beats and direction of each multi-faced track change so frequently and rip at you from several angles at once with an arsenal of bizarre instruments. Besides the guitar, Sunn amp-powered bass and vintage drums, we also see the use of keyboards, slide guitars, mandolins, a bow and with such bizarre-sounding usage in the songs, it sounds like a whole team of fucked up demons playing King Crimson and Melvins songs. Grating, layered vocals and rhythmic drumming make up much of the body of the songs and the entire thing holds an obviously vicious tone, with worlds of more subtle and indirect feel that you need to hear more than once to really get a grasp on. Features members of Pelican, along with some time spent in Disembodied, Hinkley, and Long Live Nothing. Any fan of the old Am-Rep records stuff, Tortuga Records' noisy collection or some of the heavier noise-grind records on Ebullition will love this. 9 tracks in all, and not a boring moment, ever. Also formerly known as Bloody Tusk."
Metal Maniacs

"Honestly, I used to really like this kind of music. But then I went to a few too many black metal shows and had to bare the company of a few too many dolled-up dorks in studded leather turtlenecks and various other "scary" wardrobe accessories and I've never been able to take this shit seriously ever since. This probably sounds just like a gazillion other doomy dark metal bands out there that I don't want to know about, but the parts I like the best remind me of the Fartz or The Accused with a little Integrity mixed in for good satanic measure. Heavy, vomitous, and oozing with beelzebubbling white heads - all with a decidedly "the devil is cool" bent. Crust punks and grind metal kids will eat it up and then stab themselves to death with their sporks. I hope."
Razorcake

"With a cover that looks as though it was nicked from some lost '70s prog-rock masterpiece, and a brutally proficient spazzcore sound that's defiantly 21st century, Tusk's Get Ready is an immediate contradiction in terms. What appears on the surface to be a pompous statement on a par with Emerson Lake & Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery is, in fact, as jarringly crushing and uncompromising a slab of grindcore as Converge's Petitioning the Empty Sky. Not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach, Get Ready careens through nine tracks in less than eighteen minutes; it's an unmerciful hybrid of snake-in-a-cage rhythms, choppy guitar and blood-curdling screams, guaranteed to raise a good bit more than pulses. Smash-and-grab scorchers like "Dracula Dragon Tricks" and "A Animal has a Nice Day" are about as comfortable as sleeping on broken glass, their disjointed cadences and grimy whirlwind guitars spinning out of control, culminating in violent crescendos that end twice as hastily as they began. Tough stuff, for certain, but for all its vicious thrills, Get Ready isn't anything that any upstanding metalhead, crusty punk or hardcore hedonist hasn't already traded in a few teeth for."
Splendid E-Zine

"Before you glance at that cover art and make that silly little "don't-tell-me-this-is-another-70's-prog-slash-stoner-album" look on your face, let me tell you that well, it isn't. Even more misleading is the "epic" aura that this image exudes. The truth is that this is an 18-minute album. And when it says "Get Ready", you probably should heed its advice. Formalities first and foremost, Tusk began to exist even before the boys at Pelican started to focus all their energies to their recent band. Musically, perhaps some of the only things that these two bands have in common are the words "heavy" and "riffage". The dramatic droning and excessive brooding are nowhere to be heard, replaced by relentless assaults of metalcore-ish chugging and almost structureless 2-minute massacres. Yeah, that's right. Pelican specializes in angsty procrastination, whereas Tusk wastes no time in delivering their goods. To give you an idea on what Get Ready is like, imagine Pelican's rough, meaty guitars paired with an even crunchier bass and death metal drumming molded in the likeness of Dillinger Escape Plan, minus the math, add a wee bit of spazziness. How they did the production in a pseudo-black metal lo-fi manner makes the instruments stand out even more."Dracula Dragon Trick" starts off slow, and appetizes the listener for the savagery to come. In the 40-second "Blood", the three get absolutely hysterical in their rawest offering in the record. Where the band really shines is in "Green Love". For the most part it goes like the rest of the songs, but in the bridge there's these harp-like strings playing while a muddled voice speaks that gives a creepy "walking in a dark forest" kind of vibe that sets it apart. "Six Act Descent to the Lower Reaches" slows things down by a bit, but that's not saying much. You'll get little or no rest at all from Get Ready's sonic barrage. Speaking of vocals.. coming from a band that incorporates only instrumentation in their work, the way the vocalist screeches, growls and bellows(sounding somewhat like Converge's Jacob Bannon in the process) looks like he's been doing it for a long time. Comparisons aside, this band can definitely stand on its own. This debut proves to the listeners that in a such a short span of time, it succeeds in what a lot of bands in their field fail to accomplish: that they don't need to try too hard to keep their own identity, just a mix and match of a tried and tested formula and some experimentation. Though not groundbreaking 5-star material, and can be repetitive at times, Tusk still managed to create a non-stop hardcore/metalcore/death metal-esque fury that you can't quite put your finger on the first few listens, but one that you'll slowly get accustomed to. If you're looking for something more adventurous than your usual metalcore but a little tamer than brutal death metal, you won't be disappointed."
Sputnik

"I didn’t know how to react when Tusk’s ‘Get Ready’ was blaring out of my speakers. At first I wanted to run and hide, cover myself from the barrage of the noisy mayhem that Tusk dishes out, but another part of me wanted to stay and fight the fry of their music. I did a bit of both to tell you the truth and in the end my perception of the band is mixed. I love the trashy, noise-filled angst the band exudes (on songs like "Blood" and "Uptown Nights," but felt the arrangements (and production) a little lacklustre. Too much going on or possibly too much not captured properly? Whatever the case may be, Tusk is worthy if you want to scare the shit out of your neighbours or give your parents a heart attack. For those of you who like your music more straightforward and not as chaotic, stay clear."
Unrestrained

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