Album Review: Ed Gein - 'Bad Luck'

5 July 2011 | 8:59 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

A change in musical direction?

Syracuse grind merchants Ed Gein have always had a fitting band name. Their sound (at least in a sonic sense) is almost a musical equivalent of the adjectives used to describe the real-life, detestable identity from which they derive their title. Since Ed Gein's inception, the band's music has favoured fierce, unforgiving and sinister elements that coalesce to form the group's trademark style.

It's also fitting that the band return after a six year, 'have they/have they not' thrown in the towel period, with very little fuss. The buzz and anticipation regarding this release is minimal compared the myriad of albums we see paraded in prominent music mags. And you get the feeling that suits Ed Gein just fine - let the music do all the talking, ey?!

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One thing that needs to be knocked on its head early is that this is not a typical grindcore album. It may still be abrasive and raw but this is straight-up traditional hardcore. This may detract long-time fans but it may equally bring new ones in. Essentially, what it is, is a bold move. There's not much in the way of technical leanings. Instead this is substituted and similarly replaced by typical punk/hardcore song constructions. The riffs are shorter, the drums in the mould of 90's punk rock etc.

'Wage Slave' is an early highlight while 'Bullet Dodger' supports and reinforces previous assertions that suggest the grind flavour is slowly overpowered by a prominent hardcore pulse. With only one song clocking in at over three minutes, 'Bad Luck' is a very brief affair. While there is a sense of sameness in the tracks, each is nevertheless delivered in a sincere and forthright manner. 'The Wraith' is probably the album's most well-rounded moment, with the title and lyrics taken from the cheesy 80's Charlie Sheen movie of the same name.

What you have to weigh up is whether to judge this album based on the departure from Ed Gein's previous style or assess this full-length based on its own individual merits. Adopting the former, fans may feel offside by the change in direction but looking at the latter approach this is arguably a very solid and consistently delivered hardcore album.

'Bad Luck' is a reflection of a band still capable of throwing a few punches. The music is dynamic albeit attached with a change in sound. You get the feeling Ed Gein was influenced by no one other than themselves this time around. It's the studio album they wanted to make it. Love it or leave it. It's that simple.

1. Intro

2. Wage Slave

3. The Wraith

4. Bullet Dodger

5. Captain Shit

6. Into the Fire

7. She Creeps

8. Moth Collection (Into the Freezer)

9. The Spectacle

10. VIPs

11. Wasted Life