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Released: 2010, Sludge Hammer Imprint
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Greber is the caustic brainchild of Fuck the Facts’ Marc Bourgon and The Great Sabatini’s Steve Vargas. If you’re familiar with either of those bands, then you should already have some expectation of what Greber is all about. Noisy? Yep. Raw? Yep. Generally unusual? Double yep. The duo describes Greber’s sound as “honest, losing man’s music” which is probably the best endorsement for an album that I’ve heard in a while. And that’s the beauty of Greber – it comes straight from the guts, without any pretense or fancies, noise is as noise does.
A side project between Bourgon and Vargas that’s been in the works for around 3 years, HOMETOWN HEROIN is the debut release to bear the Greber moniker. A stripped down, guitar-less descent into crustgrind, Greber’s minimalist approach actually comes across more intimidating than you would probably imagine. Combining familiar elements of their home bands, Greber staggers across the lines of punk infused rumblings and somber, doom laden dirges in the midst of some truly frantic arrangements. Little touches like the death announcement of wrestler Owen Hart interjected in the middle of “Cavedweller” make an already wild delivery even more bizarre. More subdued, almost “pretty” tunes like “The Saddest Joke Ever Told” and the spasms of the title track come across as effectively creepy in the context of the chaos surrounding them. “Carriers” appears to be the band’s signature track (currently streaming on their website), and is the most “traditional” sounding track of the lot – if there’s such a thing as traditional…
As HOMETOWN HEROIN launches, almost immediately you’ll notice the absence of any guitars, and almost immediately after that you’ll notice that they’re completely unnecessary here. Bourgon’s got some ridiculous tones and inflections in his bass sounds that are quite remarkable if you’re into that kind of thing. Vargas drums like a madman who’s just shotgunned a case of Red Bull and at other times hits with the precision of a jazz percussionist. HOMETOWN HEROIN clocks in around 22 minutes, but it’s not a blitz attack – it’s more like an angry bear that’s been hit with a tranquilizer dart and is none too happy about it. If you’re up for something different and enjoy the extremes that music has to offer, Greber is a worthy exploration. It’s fast, it’s slow, it’s harsh, it’s unsettling, it’s honest, losing man’s music.
3. Bullfighting Accident
4. The Saddest Joke Ever Told
5. Hometown Heroin
Steve Vargas – Drums, Vocals
Marc Bourgon – Bass, Vocals
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