One thing that is apparent as we grind down to the end of 2016 in the music world, is the dearth of quality legacy acts. Sure there are some great bands still kicking around and the dad metal crowd will always love the reunions that seem to be on tour forever. It’s definitely tough be nostalgic when you don’t have time to miss anyone. So when a quality act like Superjoint makes a comeback, you need to pay attention to it.
Caught Up In The Gears of Application (Housecore) is a nice return to form for this supergroup of metal veterans. Ghost Cult witnessed one of the first return shows from the group at Housecore Horror Festival in 2015, and so we have expected the band to open up this can of whupass on us for a while now.
Although known best as a side project of Philip Anselmo, Superjoint (no longer with Ritual at the end) is as much about Jimmy Bower and Kevin Bond to be fair. Led by this trio of instigators, they make unabashed hardcore-influenced metal, full of relentless beats, crushing riffs and plenty of inborn hostility for your earholes. It’s not a stretch to say that Caught Up In The Gears… is the most hardcore sounding album this band has put out. Sure there are some blastbeats, and even a few droney doom licks for good measure. But the charm of this album is the throwback to straight knuckle-dragging beatdown-core that was always at the heart of the old Superjoint albums like Use Once and Destroy and A Lethal Dose Of American Hatred (both Sanctuary Records).
Tracks like ‘Today And Tomorrow,’ ‘Burning The Blanket,’ ‘Ruin You,’ and the title track are fast, brutal screeds railing against society. Enigmatic as he may be personally, you can’t deny Anselmo’s ability to deliver a quality slogan for the downfall of modern life as with ‘Circling The Drain’ and ‘Clickbait’. With the presence of Stephen Taylor And Jose Gonzalez from Anselmo’s solo band Phil Anselmo And The Illegals, there is a bit of that style found here too. It’s easy to hear how comfortable Phil is in this setting. Despite being all kinds of heavy, the new Superjoint does lack a little of the inventiveness of that previous release on repeated listens.
Like all Superjoint music, it’s all about riffs, rage and grooves. There are even a few shining moments of lead guitar glory for those in need of some rock with their punk. The outright heaviness of a track like ‘Mutts Bite Too’ really sums up this album for me.