With their majestically thumping heaviness, caught somewhere between industrial art-house and grinding hardcore, Pelican grab the listener from the moment the screeching grind of the opening track “Pulse” begins. Unfortunately, they don’t manage to hold that attention for the remaining thirty minutes of this 4-track set.

Too often the band’s monotonous dino-core veers off into nothingness, maintaining its power but losing all impact as the sonic endeavors reveal their lack of progress or any discernable purpose (beyond the obvious one of being really, really loud). The thirteen minute-long closing track “The Woods” takes its time getting there, but is the odd one out in that it actually has some place to go. It’s a brooding track that explores the nuances of its initial grind, and offers proof that Pelican have something going for them once they allow themselves to move beyond volume for volume’s sake.

Hydrahead Records:

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