Released: 2006, Galy Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Quills is a crust/grind band featuring current and former members of Misery Index, Swarm of The Lotus and Ruiner as well as one of the founders of the Maryland Death Fest. Their self-titled EP is fast, ugly and to the point. Evan Harting’s vocals are an addled mélange of shrieks and shouts but Danny Porter’s riffs are rock solid, providing a (dare I say) melodic polar opposite to Harting’s yelps. The rhythm section of Misery Index’s Jason Netherton and Chris Csar (ex-Swarm of The Lotus) flail away in a blazing fury of blastbeats and truncated spurts that can be a bit disarming at first but gradually settle into a more comfortable space. Despite containing eight full tracks, this may very well be the shortest CD I own at 6:59 but it accomplishes more in those seven minutes than many hour-long full-lengths do and the fact that a grind CD can actually remain in the listener’s memory is a feat in itself.
“I Sank Your Battleship” surprises immediately with a high-octane attack that finally settles into a slow-burning groove. “Your Own Reality” teeters on Psyopus-like spazz-core” but “In The Flickering Light” features some incredible guitarwork from Porter that must be heard to be believed. Fast but also incredibly technical and impressive fret work. “Held By A Broken Hand” is equally notable in its effortless shift from mid-paced groove to a blinding assault in the span of just over a minute. As songwriters and musicians, the ability to drift so seamlessly between speeds is testament to the skill found here and certainly proof that grind is more than just “noise.”
Last year, Ed Gein released a similar sounding CD (JUDAS GOATS & DIESELEATERS) that just didn’t work, mostly because of the pretentious lyrics. Calling Quills “simple” could be misconstrued but instead of delivering their music with a heavy-handed approach as Ed Gein did, Quills manages to lighten the load and the result is far better. It will be interesting to see what this band does in the future with a full-length (will it pass the 20-minute mark??) because based on the music heard here, this side project/“supergroup” has a lot to offer and leaves the listener wanting more.
KILLER KUTS: “I Sank Your Battleship,” “In The Flickering Light,” “Held By A Broken Hand”