Flashback a few years.
A new studio had opened up in Downtown Las Vegas (National Southwestern Electronic Recordings) in the back of a record shop called 11th Street Records. It was the brainchild of Ronald Corso, who months before had contacted Illicitor, and invited them to be the guinea pigs for his first big run with his brand new studio. When the band first sat down to record what would end up being their debut album, the initial thought was that this may end up just being an awesome demo, or a modest EP at best. In less than three days, the trio dealt out nine tracks of live tracked chaos.
This record became a labor of love for the band, and for Corso and engineer/mixer Mike “Lazer” Lavin, who worked from the beginning takes to the album’s final master. Upon completion of tracking at NSER with Corso, Lavin and the band continued working limited hours over the following months mixing at Digital Insight Recording just a few blocks down the road. Here, the album was kept in a cage and fed raw meat, and was forced to fight on the weekend’s against hip hop singles and commercial jingles.
Fast forward to now.
What we have for you here is music meant to be measured in moments. There are times when the gruff vocals harmonize over familiar punk dynamics, calling on influences like Against Me! and Off With Their Heads. But as evidenced by the album’s opening track, Little Birdie, the band melds that punk accessibility with metal forged from the fire’s of Mastodon’s “Blood Mountain”. Songs further down the tracklist, like Rolling Bag of Butcher Knives, nods to West Coast metal pioneers Deftones’ “Around the Fur” and VG Ultra feels like a street fight between Faith No More’s take on the power groove, and Refused’s prediction of today’s punk.