It’s been great to see Eat Your Own Head grow and grow. They’ve become a regular appearance at math-rock/post-rock (and other such genre nights) across the country over the last year or so, putting out new music on the regular, eventually culminating in this, Neck Deep In The Blyth, put out on their own label, Drongo Records.
If you’ve heard Eat Your Own Head before you’ll have a good idea of what to expect but they sound more polished, more balanced and somehow bigger than before. Opener Come Undone drops you straight in, massive guitar riffs draw you in before the bass and drum driven verse starts, the vocals reminiscent of 90s grunge, the right amount of crunch to them.
A few tracks in, Pig, is an interesting one. Completely instrumental until a few screams in the final bars, it starts out sounding a bit like a Tool song before really building up in the middle with some great guitar playing really hitting hard. I’ll admit that, performed live, I’ve not really gotten into Malice Practice – the clean riff is really nice but there can be a bit too much of it – but in the context of the album it actually sits pretty nicely and provides a bit of soothing respite from the heavier elements. It’s another track that, when it gets going, shows the incredible skills of their drummer too – insane beats full of twists and turns throughout the record.
The Concrete of Moulded Men is a standout from this record, everything about this track works well. The huge sound the guitars and bass bring, the vocal delivery, the transaction half way through where the heavier drums and guitars seem to disappear into the ether, dropping into a wall of delayed guitars before climbing back in seconds later. Closing track Ankh is a really interesting piece of music, the verses providing some of the best vocals of the record but the final minute really ending the album climactically, the big wall of guitar riffs finally giving way to a single clean guitar.
There’s some really interesting composition within the record too. Winter Takes it’s Toll in particular progresses in a way that I definitely couldn’t see coming. I’ve spoken highly of Eat Your Own Head previously so it’s going to surprise no one that I think this album is brilliant. It’s a perfect summation of what makes them such an excellent live band and why they’re ending up on so many great lineups. It blurs the genre lines often but what keeps it together is the incredible musicianship, the mad drums, the way the bass locks in with them perfectly, the dynamic guitar playing and the phenomenal vocal delivery. Bravo.