When Early Man first made a splash back in 2005 with their debut full length Closing In, there was some controversy among certain members of the metal press as to whether the band was true, or just a bunch of hipsters glomming onto metal to look cool. Some people didn’t like the fact that it came out on Matador, which is kind of dumb since Matador has had plenty of heavy loud bands on their roster, such as Unsane and Guitar Wolf . But the witch-hunt was on.
What got lost in all this is that Early Man released a kick-ass slab of neo-thrash, shoulders above many other of the bands in this nascent movement. It even got some great reviews by credible writers and magazines. I briefly spoke with front man Mike Conte before their set at Rock N’ Shock in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 2005, a few days before the full length came out, and he is a down-to-earth, metal-loving dude.
But still if people aren’t going to like you, they are not going to like you. Eventually the band shifted labels to The End for an EP (Beware The Circling Fin) in 2008 and follow up full length in 2010 (Death Potion), coming five years after the debut. It looked liked some momentum had been lost, but surprise, surprise, Conte and Early Man is back with a new lineup and a new song “Demon Problems,” which he is debuting along with two songs from California two-piece hardcore wrecking crew It’s Casual on the B-side of this seven-inch. The slab is being released by Conte on his own label, Demon Problems, and is limited to a 1,000 copies, which includes a nice silkscreened double-sided patch of both bands.
But let’s focus on the music, shall we? “Demon Problems” is a fine return to form for the band, as it features everything that makes the band wonderful. You get the more traditional metal influences, merged with a little Sabbath and some great ripping thrash. It just doesn’t play the thrash card, like some other bands. It mixes a bunch of genres together seamlessly and flows together quite well.
It’s Casual, which features the indomitable Eddie Solis on guitar and vocals joined by drummer WCE, as well as a wall of amps, burn through two ripping hardcore songs on the other side. “Father To Me” is the more straight up hardcore track, sounding a bit like a 2012 version of Black Flag, while “Suffering” adds a little doom to the mix, which also makes for an exciting listen.
Regardless of what band you are a fan of, this is definitely one that is worth picking up. Both bands provide quality heavy rock for your listening pleasure. So just dive right in and enjoy.
(Demon Problems Records, no address provided)