KNITTING FACTORY ENTERTAINMENT
Beartooth: The Below Tour
A handful of bands play the “devastating riffs and catchy hooks” game, but for BEARTOOTH, this music is the difference between life and death. As easygoing, charming, and outgoing as these young men may appear, there’s an inner turmoil churning away, only satiated by the savage music they play. Suicidal ideation, emotional desolation, and desperate dark nights of the soul are chewed up and spat out in song after song; cathartic singalong anthems like “Body Bag,” “Sick of Me,” and “In Between.”
BEARTOOTH’s blistering fourth album, Below, is a pure distillation of rage. A savage attack against mental illness and an outright refusal to suffer in silence, Below weaponizes its deceptively radio-ready bombast to deliver stone cold truth missives, each packed like a bomb with noisy rock chaos. Songs like “Fed Up,” “Dominate,” “Hell Of It,” and the expansive album closer “The Last Riff” are destined to stand beside the strongest of BEARTOOTH’s catalog and moreover, in metal’s pantheon.
When Rolling Stone introduced BEARTOOTH as one of 10 New Artists You Need To Know, the sound was rightly described as “like a nervous breakdown, usually with enough optimism to push through.” As the band grows (grabbing trophies at genre events like the Golden Gods and Loudwire Awards), the raw nerve simply becomes more exposed, sounding crazier yet accessible all at once.
Back in Black was the first album Shomo ever bought with his own money, and the straight-to-the-point stomp of AC/DC’s multi-platinum masterpiece remains entrenched in the BEARTOOTH backbone. Motörhead’s fast-paced groove and “let it rip” attitude is another part of the anatomy, central to what separates the Metallica/Slayer-worshipping crew from their Warped Tour comrades.
Shomo delivers his confessional catchy-metal on the stage with guitarists Zach Huston and Will Deely, bassist Oshie Bichar, and drummer Connor Denis. The five friends converge as an explosive, formidable live unit. Their shared commitment to leave everything they have on the stage, each and every time, earned consistent accolades in tastemaker publications like Kerrang! and Revolver.
Below was written, performed, produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Caleb. Like Nine Inch Nails, Tame Impala, and the first Foo Fighters album, BEARTOOTH is a one-man band in the studio. It began as musical exorcism, conceived and constructed in Shomo’s home recording sanctuary, a means to tame the demons of debilitating depression and anxiety he’s suffered since childhood.
BEARTOOTH’s 2013 Sick EP was an emotionally-stranded Shomo’s “message in a bottle,” tossed into a figurative ocean. The message was received, and the throngs of likeminded people who responded became his lifeboat. Disgusting (2014), Aggressive (2016), Disease (2018), and Below (2021) expanded those themes of desperation, each sonically getting a step closer to the magical balance between the blood, sweat, and tears of classic recordings and the smooth gloss of modern production.
Below revels in the darker underbelly of traditional metal, soaked in stoner rock tones and doomy dirge. BEARTOOTH offer no cure. The recovery comes in the process; the journey is the destination. As long as the dueling dichotomy of mental health anguish and cathartic creative expression remain bound together, Shomo and his mates will be here to oversee the show. So please, enjoy the ride.
Caleb Shomo – Vocals
Zach Huston – Guitars
Will Deely – Guitars
Oshie Bichar – Bass
Connor Denis – Drums
The right amount of self-applied pressure causes growth.
Through an unwavering dedication to progression, Wage War sharpen their patented hybrid of heavy pit-starting technicality and hummable hypnotic melodies with each subsequent evolution. Look no further than the aptly titled third full-length from the Florida quintet, Pressure [Fearless Records]. The band—Briton Bond [lead vocals], Cody Quistad [rhythm guitar, clean vocals], Seth Blake [lead guitar], Chris Gaylord [bass], and Stephen Kluesener [drums]—drove themselves to fully realize their ambition by personally pushing harder than ever.
“There’s always pressure to make a great album, but we felt it even more so this time around,” explains Cody. “We pushed ourselves to keep this thing moving and growing. The theme was to be as catchy and as heavy as possible. We knew we had to do something people would notice. Ultimately, we tried to deliver a benchmark that says, ‘This is Wage War. This is what we can do.’”
A whirlwind four years set the foundation for such a statement. The group’s 2015 debut, Blueprints, yielded multiple fan favorites with “Alive” cracking 12 million Spotify streams and “The River” exceeding 8 million to date. Meanwhile, 2017’s Deadweight established the boys as a rising force. Totaling nearly 50 million cumulative streams in two years, the single “Stitch” racked up 14 million streams on Spotify as Deadweight received widespread praise from MetalInjection, New Noise, Metal Hammer, and Rock Sound who dubbed it, “a relentless, genre-evolving treat.” Meanwhile, they toured alongside everyone from I Prevail and Of Mice & Men to Parkway Drive and A Day To Remember, logging countless miles on the road.
In order to approach their next evolution from a different angle, Wage War enlisted the talents of producer Drew Fulk (Motionless in White, Lil Peep, IDKHOW) and recorded in Los Angeles for the first time. The locale fostered a spirit of evolution.
“We were all out of our comfort zone, which was really cool,” Cody elaborates. “We couldn’t just go home after the day. We all lived in the same house. It was a great opportunity for us to reconnect. We’d go to shows together, come back, and write at 2am. Los Angeles is inspiring, because there’s a youthful drive and passion. Everyone is there to chase a dream. It gives you a mindset. You talk about going to L.A. to make a record when you’re 13. It was a bucket list thing for us.”
At the top of 2019, they teased out the album with “Low.” Right out of the gate, it leapt past 5 million Spotify streams. Meanwhile, the first single “Who I Am” targets those people who only engage in discussions to spread negativity, as it teeters between a razor-sharp riff, guttural screams, and a sweeping clean refrain, “Don’t forget I’m human. I’ve got the open wounds to prove it. You don’t get to choose it. You don’t know who I am.”
Meanwhile, “Take the Fight” hinges on a gnashing guitar fused to an aggressive pitched intonation by Briton, standing out “as something we’ve never done before.” Cody adds, “It’s a call-to-arms. We have dark songs, but we want to share light in the underlying message. It encourages everyone to stop being ignorant and treat each other better.”
“Grave” highlights Briton’s clean vocals for an entire track, another first, as it dips in and out emotionally charged verses and into an arena-size gang chant punctuated by call-and-response.
“You come to a point of realizing you need to cut ties with toxic individuals in your life,” adds Cody. “You’ve repeatedly given them chances, but they don’t deserve you.”
Illuminating the dynamics of the group, the airy guitar of “Me Against Myself” underlines the biggest and boldest refrain of this body of work as closer “Will We Ever Learn” merges heavenly vocalizations with subtle synths and a thudding groove.
In the end, Pressure elevates Wage War to the next level.
“When you listen to the album, you hopefully get Wage War turned up to ten,” Cody leaves off. “Lyrically, everything is from the heart. Maybe, it gets you through a tough time, pushes you into another day, or gives you the strength to talk to somebody. There’s nothing better.”
They want to make it known that they’re not here to make you like them. There is a passion for change in our world, and Dragged Under aim to lead us in to the era of self-discovery, introspection and following our own paths wherever they lead. From the musical epicenter of Seattle, and across The World, Dragged Under is casting a footprint that we rarely see emerge so instantaneously.
Dragged Under released their debut full length, “The World Is In Your Way” in early 2020. After 10 million streams, charting at #18 on Billboard, signing with Mascot Records, touring with The Used and being added to regular rotation on SiriusXM Octane the band remains hungry. Currently deep into writing their follow up to TWIIYW, the band look forward to lots of touring as soon as possible