As a four song EP, â€śThe Shadow Galleryâ€ť would be one of the best metal/hard rock releases of the spring. As a seven song debut full-length, it is still enough to make you sit up and notice Primitive Weapons. This Brooklyn band maintains a great angry presence in the midst of its own chaos, and knows how to blend doom, thrash and plodding menace in classic Jesus Lizard, et al fashion. No shame here in a debut having a couple clunkers amid so many solid gems. â€śThe Shadow Galleryâ€ť is limited to only 500 copies, but is currently streaming on Brooklyn Vegan.
The set leads off with â€śGood Hunting,â€ť which offers a sludgy screaming soup of angry dissonance, with more than a nod to industrial in its metal. Had Fugazi embraced nihilism, youâ€™d have something like the driving, pummeling assault of â€śQuitters Anthem.â€ť The great doomy thrash of â€śThe Death of Boredomâ€ť lays the groundwork for the masterful â€śOr Do Ideas Have You,â€ť its abrasively atmospheric, bass-driven frenzy the possible highlight of the record.
It isnâ€™t that the last few tracks are weak, but compared to what has come before they seem lacking (Maybe a song-realignment would have solved this). Due to its relatively clear, crisp production, â€śBig Chiefâ€ť almost seems catchy, generic though still hardly radio-friendly. â€śOathâ€ť is reminiscent of the directionless mid-career prog-mud of Black Flag, and suffers for the same reason, though it is notable for kicking off with free jazz-esque drumming. The closing â€śBlack Fundsâ€ť offers epic soaring melody, but sounds too much like a lesser version of other track to be a closer that lingers or sums up.
Make no mistake though: Primitive Weapons are a beast of massive sound fury and invention, and â€śThe Shadow Galleryâ€ť is more than a winner, particularly for a debut. Their barely reigned in madness is memorable and disturbing.