A Look in The Local Bin: Sharp Weapons

Sharp Weapons are a force to be reckoned with. Whether their relentless heaviness is blasting through a venue’s PA or streaming through headphones, it has tension to it that makes each song snap. Their self-titled debut is nine tracks of this tension. Not to say each song of Sharp Weapons sounds alike–the band spreads its influences throughout, butting southern metal with doom-like sludge and punk guitar rolls. The result is an album that is as close to a live event as possible.

The album begins with “Eat Another Chord.” The song starts with a distorted and disjointed riff before washing into a classic southern metal-esque riff. “Eat Another Chord” has a lot of the same tone and feel of Every Time I Die (circa Gutter Phenomenon). That said, Sharp Weapons toss their own take into the mix, making for heavier and more energetic parts overall. The song climaxes into a single refrain as the guitars riff and riff and riff. This sludgy ending packs a wallop and leaves its listeners thirsty for more.

 

The marriage of heaviness and punk-energy is something Sharp Weapons are masters of. Their debut album never loses the frantic energy of a punk record and also refuses to sacrifice the heavier grime to this jittering. Keeping these seemingly opposing forces in balance is an act that, throughout Sharp Weapons, never becomes mundane. The band knows perfectly when to skitter through a guitar roll and when to let the bass envelope a track.

One of these heavier tracks closes the album. “Co-Sleeper” is part-distortion driven anthem and part-throw back to early aughts metalcore. “Co-Sleeper” bounces between groove and grind to make a collage of parts that call the body to trash or bob along to the riffs and blast beats. The song takes the same balancing act that wed heavy and punk and applies it to rhythmic rupture and disrupture. This juxtaposition gives sharper contrasts to the competing aesthetics of “Co-Sleeper”–a quality that makes the song a perfect closer.

Sharp Weapons debut LP is full of riff led grooves and unforgiving percussion. Holding it all together, the vocals do as much lifting as the guitars. Adding a certain texture to the mix, Sharp Weapons’ vocals do well to play between chords and rolls, never allowing the energy of the album to lag. They also know the precise moment to pull back and let the instruments lead. The subtle shading of presence and absence gives each song on the album a palpable tension.

Physically, the songs couldn’t ask for a more beautiful home. The first pressing of Sharp Weapons is on silver wax that is housed in a sleeve with some pretty dire artwork (it’s the featured image of this post). You can find this album at Mills Record Company in the local section–along with so many other brilliant local releases.

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