Contra – Deny Everything

Rating

When I get something from a band I’ve never heard of, I usually give it two or three songs to grab me. In this case, Contra grabbed me right away, reminding me of now-defunct local outfit AF Analog (who have since given way to the excellent Warsnake). Like the AF Analog dudes, the guys in Contra played in a buncha hardcore bands in their younger days—likely not any names you’d know if you weren’t from around Cleveland—and in their slightly older age, have slowed things down somewhat, setting the dial to mid-paced tough-guy sludge. If you were to take Crowbar and Clutch’s respective self-titled records and throw ‘em in the ring together, the end result would sound a little something like this.

Deny Everything gets off to a jagged start with “Human Buzzsaw” displaying some classic Maryland-style doom riffage, dropping down to a slow, heavy crawl toward the end. Vocals are deep, hoarse and rumbling, sounding almost exactly like the guy from AF Analog. “Snake Goat” has another great sludge/doom riff that reminds me of NOLA’s underrated Suplecs, while the more up-tempo “Altered Beast” comes off as a cross between Clutch and The Obsessed. This one even has a cowbell!

The six-minute “Humanoid Therapy” takes things down to super-slow-mo sludge/doom territory (think Noothgrush), albeit not without a couple time changes. After a few solid slices of mostly mid-tempo fare, “Dr. Goldfoot” brings the riffs in low ‘n slow in a way that would make Weinstein proud. The eight-minute “Shrimp Cocktail” is a dish best served cold, with a whole buncha heavy breakdowns. Trust me, you’ll want a second helping…

contracleveland.bandcamp.com/album/deny-everything

Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

8.0 Rating