Primate are the Atlanta based supergroup consisting of Kevin Sharp of Brutal Truth on vocals, Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher and Mike Brennan on guitars joined by Brennan’s former bandmates from The Despised, bassist Dave Whitworth and drummer Shayne Huff. The debut ‘Draw Back A Stump’ sees the five piece offer up ten tracks of what the band describe as “..stoner grind meets Swedish / Japanese Hardcore…”, which pretty much hits the nail on the head.
The album is a non stop barrage of old school punk right from the very start, with the title track blasting by in a little under ninety seconds, and that sets the standard for the next twenty minutes. Kelliher adds some intricate touches to ‘Global Division’ but its the next song which for me is the standout track on the album. ‘Hellbound’ sounds like an unholy mesh of Black Sabbath and Poison Idea, with the introduction of some slow meticulous doom before giving way to the destructive sound that dominates the rest of the record.
Another of the highlights is the inclusion of a cover of the Black Flag classic ‘Drinking and Driving’, and though its a big ask for anyone to take on such a tune, they do it justice and more. The production allows for a fairly faithful version while also allowing the band to stamp their own identity on it. Overall, the album does sound like it could have been recorded at any point over the last 25 – 30 years, and it would have fit in to a good deal of the scenes that were, have been and are still around during that time.
‘Get The Fuck Off My Lawn’ and ‘Reform?’ close the album and are more of a nod to the likes of Discharge and Extreme Noise Terror. Two songs that are just that little bit more frantic than the rest, a bit faster and a fitting and chaotic way for ‘Draw Back A Stump’ to finish.
This is an album I can’t talk highly enough about, and the only reason this could lose any marks is that its too short. It’s not that I have a problem with short albums, there are plenty of albums last a similar length, but this one is that good it just seems to be over too quick. With the other commitments of the band, its difficult to say how often we will be treated to Primate material but on this showing, even if it just comes down to the occasional EP, then that is far better than having none at all.