A Look in The Local Bin: 34
I first came across 34 on the Amplify KC compilation put out by Westend Recording Studios. The band’s track, “Brimstone Cowboy,” was definitely one of the heaviest on the compilation. Dissonance, break-downs, and cymbal-driven percussion gave “Brimstone Cowboy” an undeniable relentlessness that was surpassed only in its ability to craft catchy riff after catchy riff. In other words, I was scared of the music and hooked simultaneously–a good mixture of emotions to have a track convey. Now, the band is close to releasing the debut EP.
The self-titled EP is slated to come out on the 20th, but 34 will be playing an album release show on the 14th with BUMMER, Sharp Weapons, and Conflicts. As shown above, 34 puts on a show that is heavy without losing its technical edge. The night should be an excellent way to catch some heavy music and perhaps get a sneak peek at the material that will make up the debut.
Speaking of sneak peeks, the two tracks that are on 34′s soundcloud promises an EP that is METAL. Premiered on Tometal, “Stick ‘Em Up” is a veritable frenzy of escalating tension and distorted riffs. With all the subtle rhythmic tricks of early aughts hardcore and the vocal strain of metalcore (think Throwdown meets Underminded), the song blasts through its parts with a passion that will make for a perfect transition to the stage. “Stick ‘Em Up” mixes gut-punching dark tones with shrill (dis)harmonies to create a sound that refuses to fade.
The other track on the band’s soundcloud, “Flatliners,” plays a bit more disjointedly than either “Brimstone Cowboy” or “Stick ‘Em Up.” While it fits aesthetically with those tracks, the song unspools with a bit more flexibility. “Flatliners” proves 34 is as comfortable in a monolithic death march as it is back-bending through rhythmic changes and dynamic shifts. The song culminates in climax. Pushing all their levels into the red, 34 finds the perfect point just south of clipping that gives their metal a ghosting noise that never overpowers their riffs.
If these three tracks are indicative of the rest of the EP, then we definitely have a treat coming our way on May 20th. 34 is reviving the no-holds-barred metal that is ecstatically visceral. Until that date, though, we’ll have sate our metal thirst by seeing them take the stage with BUMMER, Conflicts, and Sharp Weapons on May 14th.
Not only will the concert be a perfect way to catch some great heaviness but it will be an excellent way to preview the debut EP. Given that these bands put on some amazing shows, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday than watching these four bands do what they do best.