"It takes something special to make a good hardcore record in 2006 and it should be no
suprise that Tusk, featuring 3/4s of Pelican have got just what it takes.
Get Ready is a nonstop assault of intricate guitars and gut wrenching screams
set atop pummeling blastbeats. This record has more the feel of an artistic
grindcore record than a straightforward metal record, but all that matters
is that in a time when heavy music seems to be completely image driven Tusk
make you feel the passion and substance behind their music "
"It’s not really a concept record,” explains Tusk vocalist Jody Minnoch during a college radio interview segment on the group’s repackaged debut. “It’s a theme record about paranoia.” With one out-of-context statement, Minnoch has just summed up the entire history of grindcore, though it’s hard to quibble with his description of the concept—er, theme—bubbling under this difficult, hard-to-reconcile disc named after a difficult, hard-to-reconcile Fleetwood Mac record. Three of these guys have gone on to fame and fortune in Pelican in the interval since Get Ready came out in 2002, keeping Tusk on the back burner for whenever sea captain Minnoch washes into port. Still, the newly added multimedia portion of Get Ready reveals a few indisputable truths. First, drummer Larry Herweg owns a Celtic Frost t-shirt for every occasion (see the January issue of Decibel for further proof). Second, DJ Qualls is the only choice to play the part of Laurent Lebec in the forthcoming Pelican/Tusk movie. Third, guitarist Trevor de Brauw is at least three croissants short of a baker’s dozen, as he enthusiastically gushes about the secret link between Emerson, Lake and Palmer and blast beats. Fourth, Get Ready isn’t terribly exciting, as blitzkrieg sitar-and-mandolin-enhanced grindcore records go. It sounds much better after a sonic touch-up, but it’s still a pale shadow of 2004’s Tree of No Return. The point-counterpoint interplay between the studio recordings and their additional evil/live counterparts is a nifty selling point, but you may want to spend wisely in the coming months. Tusk’s purported third work-in-progress is a 30-minute single-song grind epic in the vein of Pig Destroyer’s “Natasha” — the mind wobbles."
"It's ironic that Hewhocorrupts Inc.--a label that spoofs and rails on corporate culture and profiteering via its day-to-day doings and house band Hewhocorrupts--has dipped into the re-release game with Tusk at this particular point in time. For those who don't Know, Tusk features three members of Pelican, the respected instrumental band that has struck a chord with both hipster and metal-head douche bags. Tusk was/is, in fact, an outfit that Larry Herweg, Laurent Lebec and Trevor de Brauw played in before Pelican. Get Ready has received a sonic, visual and value-added overhaul now that original copies are difficult to come across and that the Pelican boys had a number of music publications hanging off their dicks after last year's The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw. The packaging is completely different, the sound of the band's loose "experimental grind" (another way of saying "sounds like Pig Destroyer and the Melvins") has been jacked up, and the enhanced portion includes an interview and some terribly out-of-synch live-to-air footage during which you'll become familiar with the band's heads and shoulders. I'm going to sound somewhat elitist here, but I own an original copy of Get Ready and, as a result, never really paid attention as to whether the masses were clamoring in demand for their own copies. So although this album may pose a challenging and rewarding listen for a wider swath of fans, its re-release smacks of opportunism on HWC Inc.'s part. Martha Stewart would be proud." B-
Devil In The Woods
"Without a vocalist, Pelican are the prog-metal kings of Chicago; with, they are just another screaming, down-tuned outfit, known only as Tusk. The reissue of 2002’s grindcorin’ Get Ready (repackaged with six live cuts) takes atonality to a level measurable only by how well in sync the musicians are. If that sounds like going to a symphony proficient in speed, you’re only a hundredth of the way. Tusk manage songs when boredom gets too raw, and only then do you find you’re hearing guitar effects rather than anything engaging. Chicken or the egg? We’ll take the chicken. Or egg. Whichever came second."
"Wow, where to begin with this group. I admit I wasn't too into this band's (comprised of members of Chicago instrumental metal group PELICAN) last record Tree of No Return--it had plenty of promise in its metal experimentation but ultimately lost itself in overly-long aimless atonal meanderings. Get Ready is actually the group's first record from '02, remixed and re-mastered with a few superfluous live tracks tacked on, and is actually far preferable to these ears. Here they keep the songs at a brisk two-minute average, which is just enough time for the sheer aural weirdness of it all to hit you, steal your wallet and run down the street, before you can get up and say, "What the fuck was that?" Take the huge symphonic heaviness of PELICAN, remove all traces of polish and cleanliness, soak in a scabies-ridden vat of PCP-jag vomit and you'll get a hint of TUSK's approach. The riffs and rhythms are off-kilter and irregular--mostly mid-pace, but occasionally breaking into jagged grind bursts. The singer's deranged howl and paranoid hallucinogenic lyrics are truly singular as well. There's a total bad drug experience vibe to the whole affair of some devilish conductor leading you through a bleeding red landscape with a rusty shiv held behind his waning grin. Definitely a must-hear."
"Three of the four members of Tusk also play in the much heralded instrumental band Pelican, but those expecting Get Ready to essentially be a Pelican record with vocals will likely be disappointed. None of the trademark elements of Pelican are on display here. There aren't any atmospheric soundscapes carefully woven together or beautiful interludes building to a crescendo or quiet/loud dynamics. Tusk is a much more straightforward beast--a spazz/grindcore outfit in the proud tradition of great 90s bands like Rorschach, Unionsuit (Aaron Turner's unfortunately largely forgotten band before Isis), and Charles Bronson with similarly misanthropic lyrics and tortured vocals. And while there is clearly plenty of talent to go around in Tusk, none of the songs on Get Ready are focused enough to suggest it would merit such a wide release if not for the popularity of the members' other band. The second half of the disc is made up of live versions of the songs found on the first half, which are inexplicably even less coherent than the studio versions. There are some great musical concepts Tusk could potentially pursue in the future, but Get Ready sounds much more like a demo to build on rather than something destined for national consumption."
"With 75% of TUSK currenty playing in the immensely popular PELICAN, it was only a matter of time before TUSK's material would see a renewed emphasis. For those however who may be fully aware of PELICAN's instrumental, droning metal-magic, finding their "origins of sound" in TUSK is a risky proposition. Delicately described as "avant, progged out, helicopter grind," TUSK's beast of a sound is the antithesis of anything approachable. Get Ready is a remixed, remastered, re-artworked (by ISIS' Aaron Turner) version of the band's full-length and bears all the warmth of receiving dental care while strapped down on an ice-cold gurney. This 15 song (six new live additions to the original nine), 30 minute ride is a juggernaut of constantly rumbling double-bass, deranged guitar explosions, and howlin' vocal demonstrations. Noisy, abrasive, and just as hard to ignore as a toxic plume, TUSK delivers the kind of musical performance that cannot merely be sweeped under the rug, but must be gutted and set aflame, before making preparations for it be discarded by a hazmat crew. Get Ready is not for the faint of heart, or for that matter, anyone who is prone to psychotic episodes."
"With Pelican scoring the unlikely coup of a high profile position on the Taste of Chaos tour, it is a perfect time to look back at the band that eventually formed Pelican -- all the while crossing your fingers in the hopes that the band will throw one of these tracks into their set. Get Ready, the first album from Tusk -- who are essentially three-quarters of Pelican with the addition of a vocalist -- couldn't be more different. In short, while Pelican specializes in atmospheric metal in the vein of Mogwai or Isis, Tusk delivers over-the-top, grinding hardcore. Think Discordance Axis with Fugazi filling in for Napalm Death. While their later recordings -- particularly 2004's Tree of No Return -- show a greater flair for experimentalism and noise, Get Ready is about as sparse and straightforward as you would hope a band could be. While grind-influenced music has typically had a reputation for sloppiness, each of the ten studio tracks that make up Get Ready is a surgically precise performance. Tracks are built of overlapping layers of sound, and while there is plenty of chaos, the band manages to reign things in just enough to prevent things from sounding like a mess of blast beats. With the recent reissue of Get Ready from Hewhocorrupts, Inc., the album has finally recieved the treatment it always deserved. Fresh new artwork from Isis' Aaron Turner, a flawless remastering job, and bonus material help this issue absolutely supplant the prior edition and a thoroughly worthwhile purchase for fans of the band or the genre in general."
"Apparently this is a reissue of Tusk's debut CD. This is akin to some of the heavy early/ mid-nineties hardcore/ grindcore bands such as Rorschach, Union of Uranus, and His Hero is Gone. At times the guitar has elements of Melvins and Scratch Acid as well. Chunky power chords with quirkiness galora. It's chaotically noisy and herky jerky. At times the chaos makes the songs unmemorable. The band would benefit from a slightly more straightfoward approach, though I think experimentation is their intention. No migraine heache listening here. This is for experimental grindcore fans, with a high aural threshold for random acts of noisy jerkiness."
"One of the coolest things about the band Pelican is that it makes crushing, emotional hard rock music without using any vocals. If you're a snobbish dandy, that can be your excuse for liking what is basically a metal band ("You see, Muffy, they're instrumental...like Mogwai"). But if you're just a regular person, you can appreciate what they're able to pull off without all that yelling and hollering. This recent reissue on the He Who Corrupts label unearths the recordings of Tusk, an old band comprising the majority of Pelican. Bad news? There are vocals. They're not exceptionally bad vocals, but it's a tremendous tease. Fans of Mastodon or High on Fire will probably hear a few tracks they like here, but overall there's that feeling that you just want them to grow up and move on to Pelican. It's like watching Albert Einstein give a lecture on the theory of relativity, but it's a young Einstein (pre-Yahoo Serious) who has yet to really figure out the best parts of his own equation."
"When I reviewed the original release of this now reissued album, I caught some negative feedback for calling Tusk a grind band. While in hindsight this seems like a bit of a misrepresentation of their sound, I still stand by the notion that they drew from grind influences in writing some of these songs. Also, at the time of that original review, the members of Tusk had not yet gained their current notoriety as members of Pelican. As a reissue, this CD serves as a good glimpse into the musical background of some of the extremely talented musicians creating what Pelican has been doing since and, while this is nowhere as good as any release from that band, "Get Ready" absolutely demonstrates some of the same interesting, innovative characteristics. Worth giving a spin, especially if you dig their other efforts."
"When you have ¾‘s of Pelican in a grindcore band, you know something good is going to come out of it. This band was started before Pelican, but displays even more instrument skill and astounding technicality. It’s just plain good hardcore grind metal. It sounds a lot like Converge, Kisses and Hugs, and early Cave In. Maybe a bit faster than the aforementioned at times. Just because the music is banging at break-neck speed doesn’t mean the band is afraid to experiment. Unexpected instruments are found in the songs: mandolin, keyboards, slide guitar and a sitar (which sounds amazing against grind, I might add.) The lyrics are dark, but interesting. Dragons, blood, guts, homicide, insomnia, and the wonders of advertising slogans. But there is one about love and flowers. How cool is that? You’ve got to mix it up sometimes. Originally released on Hydra Head Records, Get Ready is an aural onslaught of grinding metal. The re-issue comes with 6 live radio performance tracks, and killer new artwork by Aaron Turner from Isis. The art looks like tattoos that only contain the colors blue orange and white. Take the time while you’re listening to the album to look at the artwork; it’s pleasantly weird! When you pop the CD in a computer, you can watch the videos from the radio performances and an interview. (Technology is neato!) If you dig grindcore, Pelican, or if you just want to try something new, Tusk is a great investment."
"Tusk are a mess. Tusk have always been a mess. That's what makes them so great. They're a great big metallic fart of a band, a filthy miasma of grind, metal, prog and psychedelia that sucks you in and refuses to let you back out again, much like the hellish arboreal hinterland of their 2004 concept album 'Tree Of No Return'. The band's original mission statement alone should be enough to warn of their unrepentant wrongness. "We're trying to bridge the gap between early '70s Yes and Discordance Axis," they claimed in 2004, as if trying to ward off those bound by irrelevant notions of taste and decency. While there are no 'Tales Of Topographic Oceans' nestling in the grooves of this remastered, remixed reissue of their 2002 debut, you can kinda see where they're coming from. This is prog force-fed psilocybin then abandoned in an off-season fairground. Chunderous riffs attack from unexpected angles, solos squall like dying whales, and vocalist Jody Minnoch screams like a man being turned inside out by Cro-Magnon surgeons using twigs and brances as surgical instruments. Guitarist Trevor Debrauw, drummer Larry Herweg and bassist Laurent Lebec would go on to form Pelican, but the increasingly genteel post-metal mood music they make under that name is a wicked world away from the viscera on offer here. [8.5]"
"Before Pelican, Tusk were. And are yet always. Three quarters the Shooting-star the instrumental-skirt scene forms together this jolly Trüppchen with shouter Jody Minnoch, and while the volumes works already at its third album, there is here now a fine re-Issue of the debut album of 2002. The two work and probably also that as an epic singed have planned newly-work Nightime stories already somewhat more experimental structures to offer, but here reigned yet the total chaos and. Somewhere between wild Postcore and rough Grindcore Geknüppel, singe rarely over two minutes (and the album at itself degree once for 17 minutes) and approximately so relaxing like a nap after 10 cup Kaffe. And well the boys make that. Orderly rough, but point exact Geballer, crazy Breaks and in addition orderly fieses shouting. Time of grace loose Blastbeat, in the next second chaotic Mathcore-Geknatter. Quieter, more experimental parts as well as on Tree of No Return it gave said how not yet, full tube the foreign currency. There are small beauties nevertheless off and on. There for example this cool Sitar-part with old men Love or the short Synthie document would be in A Animal Has A Nice Day. The entire shortly likes to be a few, but after the nine singe feels one first of all orderly run over, fits that already. The entire got per re-mast a fatter Sound, gives of Aaron gymnast it stylish new Artwork, and bonus material is also at the start. Almost the complete disk yet once as an Audio-live bonus as well as yet once as a video, included in a tiny radio-studio, in addition another interview in that, entirely quite young Hüpfer yet the boys. Who can imagine a wild mixture of Fugazi, Dillinger Escape plan and Napalm Death and quickly take action strained has should its nerves gladly, and on the new work also already may be been happy."