Great Falls – The Fever Shed

Great Falls The Fever Shed

If you were to ask me to sum up the music of the Seattle trio known as Great Falls in one word, it would be brutal.

The new album, The Fever Shed is no exception. In fact, it’s the musical equivalent of being hit with a ton of bricks. Released in November 2015, this unforgiving LP is the third full length for the group. The band first appeared on Facebook in the spring of 2010 and has since released copious amounts of music in the form of EPs, demos, and split collaborations in addition to the full-length material.

The Fever Shed is a collection of dissonant, math-metal compositions that seem to have been written to purposely avoid being friendly to the ear. These songs are not based on melodic hooks or catchy grooves; these songs are a sonic assault on your eardrums.

The first track is a six-minute onslaught of orchestrated noise titled Dressing the Saints. The guitar provides a jarring screech and the musical phrasing is erratic. The vocals are frantically shrieked as if the vocalist is on a desperate mission to get his point across. The guitar quiets down to intermittent shrills during the verse, which leaves the bass to rumble freely with a raw, fuzzy distortion. The last 37 seconds of the song are a cacophony of free form riffing.

While the second track, Copper Boneless is much shorter than the opener, it’s certainly no easier on the listener. This is the same type of sporadic tune but with a speedier tempo. Cold as Charity is just as fast and crazy, but slows down into a slow stoner rock groove toward the end of the song.

Constant Themes of Concrete plays out discordantly just like the previously discussed songs. However, this particular track offers a surprise. At 2:14, the dissonance stops and switches to a melodic phrase during which the instrumentation seems to lock into a more standardized timing. Although this section doesn’t last, it offers the first optimistic sounds on the record.

The last track, Shaped Like Another Man is the long and drawn out sound of your doom. During the bridge, the music cuts out and leaves the singer crying out solo. After more than seven minutes the album ends by abruptly cutting out with the sound of static, a rather fitting ending for a record so rude to the senses.

The Fever Shed is a challenging listen. The natural reaction to hearing such inharmonious arrangements is for the brain to reject the noise due to the difficulty it’s having processing what it’s hearing.

For those who would say this is just noise, it’s understandable to feel that way. However, I recommended you try concentrating on each instrument separately. Doing so will help you to realize that this is something far more intricate than just three guys banging away on instruments.

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