EP "Let It Burn" Reviews
For its second release, Columbia heavy outfit GRÜZER doubles down on the stomp-and-hammer approach that made its 2014 debut Path of Buzzards work. But the tempos are less frenetic, the riffs more deliberate — it’s both heavier and more accessible. Subtle production touches set the mood on songs such as “Burning of Columbia,” which torches Southern stereotypes with the refrain “Let it all burn” and a thunderous undercurrent of bass and guitar.
“Birminghammer” sounds like Clutch played at the wrong speed until it kicks into high gear during a double-time coda that could have easily been its own song. GRÜZER works the divergent arrangement to its advantage, building tension and then riding the wave of release that follows the drastic tempo shift.
The guitar riffs all over these songs are huge without sacrificing tunefulness, betraying the band’s Kylesa and Queens of the Stone Age tendencies but also hearkening back to Death Valley Driver, a much-loved local act that included GRÜZER guitarists Travis Nicholson and Jason Brown and bassist Matt Campbell.
If the dual attack of Nicholson and Brown is the engine that drives this band, then vocalist Claude Spurlock is the grease that makes things run smoothly. Spurlock is more than just a heavy metal screamer or death metal barker, changing up his approach to suit each song while maintaining a definite edge throughout. “Bruised Not Broken” is typical of this varied style, starting with some gargantuan growling before shifting to more traditional singing for the chorus.
The final cut, “The Calm Before...” is a 45-second instrumental that ends abruptly, just as it sounds like it’s about to kick in. Let’s hope it’s a hint of a bigger outing to come.
Columbia, South Carolina’s Grüzer will release their latest offering, the “Let It Burn” EP, on April 1st or if you prefer, April Fool’s Day. Despite the chosen day of release, there’s nothing foolish on this five tracker and to think otherwise would be absolutely foolhardy on your part, fool. Grüzer play a fiercely gritty style of Southern Metal with a healthy dose of Sludge and unbridled aggression and it’s off the chain at all times and that’s due to vocalist Claude Spurlock IV, guitarists Travis Nicholson and Jason Brown, bassist Matt Campbell, and drummer Jay Crosby. Relentlessly high-octane, amped up, and pedal stompingly stupendous, these five songs assuredly epitomize what it means when someone says “The South will rise again!” for they set the bar high and take no prisoners.
The five tracks here, “The Accessory“, “Burning Of Columbia“, “Birminghammer“, “Bruised Not Broken“, and “The Calm Before…” will assault your senses and drop the hammer on your music-loving soul and you will love the way they do it too. If harsh-but-precisely-guided aggression is your thing then you need to get cruisin’ for this Grüzer bruisin’ and go balls deep into the mire because “Let It Burn” is a fiery scorcher.
EP "Path of Buzzards" Reviews
Metal bands often don’t last very long. It’s a hard reality of hard rock, a niche flush with cultish loyalty but light on the commercial spoils that sustain careers. Grüzer know this well. With members culled from several departed regional outfits — Deathvalley Driver, Diavolo, Carolyn, Shaokahn, Mean Wiener — the band might be new, but it’s also seasoned.
Path of Buzzards exemplifies the kind of fully formed debut that can arise from such toil. Touching on various strains and styles without pushing too far afield, Grüzer arrives so tight and confident that it’s hard to believe the sextet has existed for less than a year..... Click on link for More
Another of the groups I mentioned in my Rising Sons article was Grüzer, with their own brand of triple guitar attack Sludge Metal. Their EP "Path of Buzzards" was highly anticipated the moment I found out it was getting recorded, now after a couple weeks of getting a copy, and I don't know how many listens (suffice it to say, quite a few) it hasn't disappointed in the least and already earned a solid spot on my end of the year list.... Click link to read the rest
“With three guitarist and a shit ton of experience between the whole group, coming from local and regional acts like Deathvalley Driver, Diavolo, Carolyn, Shaokahn and Mean Wiener/Evil Empire among others, they perform a style of doomy Southern, Sludge Metal in the essence of the NOLA music scene, which we all love. That's not to say they're some cookie cutter band, being a fan of that Louisiana scene for a long time now I can confidently tell you that with the third guitar and their various influences, they have created something similar but definitely unique in its own right and is more than capable of standing on it's own two legs when compared to other groups doing the same thing. With solid musicianship all the way around I'd be here all day breaking down their individual sounds, but if you were to be sentenced to death by pressing, having these guys play instead of people stacking all those rocks on top of you would achieve the same goal with more jams and a lot less effort...”
“GRÜZER is also not going to be satisfied with anything that is short of the heaviest most well made 5 song EP that they have the power to create and we are stoked to be on board. I can't wait to help the band put the finishing touches on this record and let people hear it. I am certain that is will get noticed far outside of SC! Keep a lookout for this because things are about to get very HEAVY!”
“GRÜZER Inteview in Free Times Alt Paper n Columbia’s shape-shifting metal and hard rock scene, it often feels like new bands are born every minute, only to disperse after a year or two and then reassemble in different variations six months later. Such is the case with Grüzer, a wily metal sextet that gathers members from familiar local acts like Death Valley Driver, DIAVOLO, Carolyn, SHAOKAHN and Mean Weiner. Featuring a trio of guitarists in Steve Moore, Travis Nicholson and Jason Brown as well as vocalist Claude Spurlock IV, bassist Matt Campbell and drummer Jay Crosby, the group flirts with sludge and doom metal styles but also ranges freely outside of such confining descriptors. Free Times caught up with Brown to talk about Grüzer’s formation, the band’s relationship to metal subgenres, and how the members see their place in the local scene."
“Grüzer, Space Coke, Thieving Coyote, Tripping the Mechanism — An eclectic metal-centric bill headlined by the recently formed Grüzer, this show also includes the bluesy bluster of the local outfit Space Coke, the high-energy guitar histrionics of Florence’s Thieving Coyote, and sinewy epics of North Charleston’s Tripping the Mechanism. Grüzer — something of a local metal supergroup featuring former members of Death Valley Driver, DIAVOLO, Carolyn, SHAOKAHN and Mean Weiner — delivers sludgy doom metal with freewheeling arrangements. — Kyle Petersen Art Bar: 8 p.m., $5; 929-0198,”
“Grüzer hasn’t played many shows; this is the metal sextet’s second date, and first local showing. Nor has Grüzer officially released any material; only demos fleck its social media pages. But Grüzer already displays a great deal of strength and savvy, which isn’t surprising given the band’s lengthy history in local heavies. Its members filled the ranks — among myriad others — of Death Valley Driver, Carolyn and Diavolo. The band’s sweltering Southern sludge draws power from its three-guitar bludgeon. Still a little raw, Grüzer should only get keener with time. Into the Depths headlines. New Brookland Tavern: 8 p.m., $5 ($8 under 21); 791-4413,
© 2016 by Grüzer