I had received the self-titled EP from Vancouver’s Baptists a couple of years ago (I think) and while I remember it being fairly solid, it just didn’t captivate my attention and never made it past a cursory listen. Well, that certainly won’t be the case with the band’s Godcity (Kurt Ballou) produced debut full-length, Bushcraft. This eleven track album firmly plants its grimy boot on your sack and never lets up until the final reverb-drenched note has faded.
“Betterment” kicks off the 27 minute running Bushcraft with a bruising, barbaric rhythm and off-kilter, sludge-soaked hardcore. The song sets the tone immediately, as the group pile drives their way through your skull with neck-snapping mayhem. As with any project that Ballou touches, there’s always a hint of Converge and that’s evident here every now and again, but it only proves to add to the band’s already existing frenzied energy. “Think Tank Breed” is as ripping and as violent a track as you’ll find on the disc. Much like the rest of that album the opening duo of tracks are abrasive and in-your-face.
“Bullets” keeps the squealing guitars and thundering drum work rolling along at a brisk pace while “In Droves” settles down into a bit of a groove and “Still Melt” gets a little atmospheric for a stretch allowing you to prepare yourself for the onslaught that is “Mortar Head.” This mid-point of the album is set to full-on destruction as the band tears through the song as angrily as possible. The title track is frenzied, asymmetrical and flat out brazen with it’s spaztic riffage and manic drum work.
The band’s debut EP may have passed by me without notice, but Bushcraft has certainly more than made up for it. From start to finish this album rarely lets up off the accelerator with it’s sludgy, bastardized hardcore malevolence. If you like your metal well-produced, energetic and honest, then this is the album for you.