One Path Review is a special column feature by Thomas Schlatter (Black Kites, Less Life, Capacities) of One Path For Me Blog. Today, Thomas takes a looks at a re-issue of Draw Back a Stump from Atlanta super group, Primate. Featuring members of Brutal Truth, Mastodon, The Despised, Venomous Concept and The Bloody Sods, this second-edition release by Relapse Records has been remixed and remastered and features bonus material not present on the original version self-released by the band in 2011.
Primate is apparently made up of a star studded cast of members coming from bands that I’m not all that familiar with. This could be a good thing, since I’ll go into this with no “ex-members of” bias.
Immediately I couldn’t help but notice the glaring comparison to Dropdead in the artwork aesthetic. Besides the use of the chimp in the picture, we also get that block font that has become a staple of d-beat and crust bands. I understand this harkens back the era of the stencil, though it can create a uniform look between bands, and at times strips away the individualism of the artist.
The music takes on pretty much what you would gather based on the cover art aesthetics. This is fast, dirty hardcore with a d-beat influence. Low, gruff vocals attack the songs with some power precision while the guitar and bass provide that dirty power chord background. Of course, things are broken up by the occasional guitar solo or held out screeching notes. The drumming here is pretty impressive as it hammers away without any faults on these ten tracks.
Draw Back a Stump opens with its title track, which has a pretty interesting back and forth dynamic between tom drums and shouted vocals. It’s followed by launching into a d-beat explosion. Before you know it they’ve brought on a full blast beat attack before beginning the whole process again. It’s one of the more varied tracks on the record and starts things out quite nicely. From there, the tracks carry on with a relentlessly fast pace.
We get some variation from the constant fast beats, in the form of some slow, drawn out breakdowns (see the beginning of “Silence of Violence”) that carry that classic rock meet stoner feeling. The band also takes time out to devote some work on a Black Flag cover, which ironically, is the longest track on the record. “March of Curmudgeon” has a good deal of variation and the track stood out for me for its use of blast beats and waltzing time signature.
Songs like “Silence of Violence” and “Pride” carry a very nice melodic composition to them that helps promote a more epic feel, while other songs fall more to a dirtier, brutal sound (see “Get The Fuck off My Lawn” and “Reform?” for the best examples). Depending on what you’re partial to, you may come away distinguishing some tracks as better than others. Personally, I think the band seems to excel in both directions.
What we have here is nothing that’s going to break any new ground. Though, I don’t think that was the band’s intention. I’m getting the vibe here that this band had a very specific idea for their sound and crafted their songs accordingly to bring that idea to life. There’s no experimentation and very little variation, which makes me think this a deliberate choice to keep things streamlined to a consistency among the tracks. Fans of the d-beat/Motorhead-influenced sound will most likely enjoy this as it delivers all the right formulas in a nice package.
Primate – Draw Back a Stump (2nd Edition Re-issue by Relapse Records)Track List:
1. Draw Back A Stump
2. Global Division
4. Silence of Violence
5. Drinking and Driving
6. March of the Curmudgeon
7. Wasted Youth
9. Get The Fuck Off My Lawn
PRIMATE – “Pride” Lyric Video