New Orleans based “gay doom” trio, Guts Club has released CLIFFS/WALLS– a brutally crushing post-metal exploration of grief lead by haunting, anguished vocals, intensely primitive drumming, and howling guitars.
Here’s what the band had to say about the album:
“CLIFFS/WALLS is a meditation on grief and how we navigate a world overflowing with extreme loss and devastation. Some of us let it pass through us, some leap directly into it, others fight it, violently, until we’ve surrounded ourselves with walls too brutal to overcome. There is no resiliency; it is just knot after knot of trauma that we can only attempt to loosen or avert.
CLIFFS/WALLS was recorded live in (mostly) one take. The music is very intuitive and we hoped a live recording would better reflect that primitive intensity rather than multi-tracked studio magic.”
Guts Club has been releasing music, in various iterations, since 2015. Their debut album The Arm Wrestling Tournament was described by Paste as having “moments of poignancy.” Their second album, Shit Bug, was called “funny and gross and fucked” by the late, great Tiny Mix Tapes (RIP.) For their third LP, Trench Foot, The Sydney Morning Herald (not sure how the record got to them) said “Like Bob Dylan and Martha Wainwright, Baker’s vocals won’t be for everyone.” It did alright, though.
Since then, the band has gone through a lineup change and a notable shift towards heavy and experimental doom, noise, and post metal. With Ronna Sandoval (Coffinwolf Ultra) on drums and Alex Dimef (Student Driver) on second guitar, the lyrically dark violence of early Guts Club finally parallels the music.
The Sydney Morning Herald would definitely be bummed about the vocals, but for Baker and the band, they’re a cathartic release after these last few years of literal hell.
Guts Club has released CLIFFS/WALLS on January 13th 2023.