Honesty is important even if the relationship is between a reviewer and wanting reader. So I’ll start off first…I had no idea who Earth Caller were until I clicked play on Degenerate’s opening opus ‘Rise’. Phwoar did I get walloped in the head quick smart. Fast and unrelenting in its pace with barely any time to breathe, and as it ripped into second track ‘Your Enemy’ I learned quickly of the brutality of Earth Caller’s sound.

The first few tracks of Degenerate are fast and brash and I’m visualising circle pits and bodies crashing. It’s difficult to remember this is Earth Caller’s debut album, the opening tunes are strong and powerful things with furious speed, call-to-arms choruses and mean breakdowns. It’s at the halfway mark of this debut that Earth Caller suck in a lung of air and offer a change in pace. ‘The Great Divide’ is serene and heartfelt, even with the drums beating fast behind The Getaway Plan frontman Matthew Wright’s melodic vocals.

It’s not just the sound of the record that makes this debut a stinging slap to the face, with Josh Collard’s lyrics touching on some pretty prevailing topics for Australians. From the reason why people would risk everything to seek asylum in ‘The Faceless King’ to the current reality of our government with “I’ve seen the face of evil, we elected it” in ‘Dictated, Not Lead’. With music so ferocious, it only seems right to touch on the infuriating situation we Australians are in.

In a genre of music that can easily stale and meld together into similar sounds and tropes, Earth Caller have offered up a series of songs that are sonically and thematically impassioned. Full of fury and fire and, for me, show a band doing all that they can to ensure the genre doesn’t rot under all the shit it carries.

Nat Rivers

 

 

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