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Album Review: TBA

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Album Review: Mortor – Shoot ‘Em Up

Welcome to . No, not Mordor, you numpty. This band have absolutely nothing to do with Tolkien or his expansive works of fiction; they have zero to do with the Land of Shadow; they are not where the fires of Mount Doom burn, and they have zip to do with the Eye, the Mouth or any other facial feature of the dark lord, Sauron. Instead, they have everything to do with the “Mor” of and their pig-grunting lunacy and the “Tor” of “” and their balls-to-the-wall thrash metal. I can also hear much of the denim & leather greaseball sound of in Shoot Em’ Up, their sophomore album, breaking up the steady flow of ripples that comes from their straight-up hammering crush. With those guys for heroes, these Canadians were always destined to form a band with the name .

Stuffed full of jagged, hammer-on, hammer-off ragers like “Under The Flag”, the blistering title-track and “Infidels” – tracks that come loaded to the gills with rumbling bass, furious speed metal and almighty Corpsegrinder-esque burbles – Shoot ‘Em Up is a no-frills assault on your lugholes. Yank up the volume and the vibration it generates at the bottom-end of your aural range is mesmerising. This thing is an absolute beast of an album. “Clusterfuck”, for instance, adds flesh to the dripping, glutinous form of the bog-monster that the early tracks outline. As the track notches down the pace, you can actually feel its feet thudding on the ground as it advances upon you, a muddy trail pooling behind as it lumbers on. This is one foul stench you cannot escape.

“Trigger Happy” has jerking rhythms and guitar leads that begin to introduce other more anthemic -esque elements. There’s hints of that battle metal drama about moments like this and it’s brother “Locked And Loaded” that just induce more and more panic into the mix. Those guitars go a bit over the top in places, but that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it? And don’t get me wrong this is one fun album. It absolutely refuses to take itself too seriously and that is ultimately its saving grace. If it had made even the slightest attempt to hide its weak spots, Shoot ‘Em Up would be rendered instantly redundant. There is no black metal masking here (although “Days Of Our Knives” does flirt with breaking that fourth wall), no self-absorbed progressive elements to rub your beard knowingly to. Oh no. With track-titles like “Whiskey Surgery” and the utterly loco “Let’s Deflagrate” you can be sure this is all about having a good time.

Certainly, this kind of hammer-down tomfoolery has been practiced before (it kept reminding me of , and for varying reasons) and don’t be fooled into thinking that there is a wild degree of track-by-track diversity. However, if you dig the sound of ten people playing drums at once and a farm animal for a vocalist you’re going to be all over this. It all boils down to your personal preference: you can take the 44 seconds of galloping, driven crush that constitutes the “Intro” and be left gasping for air and gasping for more or, alternatively, you can listen to the full 47 minutes and be slowly bludgeoned to death by madmen with lop-sided grins and inflatable hammers. The choice, as they say, is yours.

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