Listening to Bummer‘s new album Holy Terror is like trying to mosh as hard you can in the pit for 24 minutes straight. Admirable, but you cannot keep up. You will either be destroyed completely or consumed and spit out into the safety of a potentially merciless crowd. Either way, you’ll be standing on the precipice of the ever-unfolding chaos with a shit-eating grin on your face excited about diving in again.
Bummer is three EPs and a split into their career and has managed to consolidate all their experience into Holy Terror. This record hits harder than most, if not all other records you’ll hear this year. Bummer plays every single section of every single song like they’re three eighth notes away from the heaviest breakdown on the album, which is especially astonishing if you go back and listen to their previous efforts. Their 2015 EP Spank might make you bob your head and drum on the steering wheel, but Holy Terror is almost unlistenable in any environment where you can’t expend all the energy it instills in you.
Guitarist and vocalist Matt Perrin sounds like a snotty Greg Puciato who doesn’t even need a microphone considering his volume, while bassist Mike Gustafson and drummer Sam Hutchinson are flat out intent on destroying their instruments with blunt force. Seriously, it’s unbelievable how forcefully powerful Holy Terror is throughout. Even the closer “Arts And Crafts” kicks off with Hutchinson setting the tempo and then the whole band launching into a devastatingly plodding riff with Perrin basically vomiting out the remnants of his vocal cords overtop. Holy Terror provides zero breaks. This is noise rock that will raze homes.
Though for a record intent on obliteration, Holy Terror certainly has a wide arsenal of weapons. “Total Recall” switches off between a headlong sprint and tripping over its own feet with stumbling odd-time riffs. “Astro Bastard” tricks you into thinking it’s taking a break toward the end of its runtime with a hatefully hazy atmospheric section, but doesn’t and then brings the sledgehammer down on your jaw on the intro of “Dimebagged.” Because again – there’s no reprieve here. There’s also a sense of humor running throughout the record’s fury. “Reefer Sadness” has this very “Hey Ricky” clapping section that just feels so sarcastic. Like Bummer is mocking the listener for getting into a section so cheesy for even a second. It helps that, as usual, Perrin is screaming his damn head off. Plus with song titles like “Fred Savage 420” and “Frown Job,” the sense of humor isn’t exactly hidden.
It’s refreshing to hear a band make a record this honestly energetic. Bummer falls into the soon-to-be-classics category of noise rock bands absolutely crushing it right now. A category that houses the likes of Whores and Wrong, both of whom have been Bummer tour mates. All three have their own distinct way of going about bringing that natural heaviness, and for Bummer it’s sheer volume and anger. Holy Terror sounds like it was recorded with about five microphones in a room and zero edits to any of the performances. It’s an album that puts you in the center of the performance, but that might be a bad place to be. Unless you’re about being covered in bruises and suffering from tinnitus. Then you’re going to love it.
Buy Holy Terror here.