Gator Shakes are a metalcore band that puts on one hell of a loud show (god I miss live music); their latest album, Well, Hell, came out last Friday.
The album opens with vocalist Jake Morgan barely clinging to the end of a fraying rope, screaming, a capella, “Push! West! Leave! This! East! Coast! Fear!” From here, the band charges into “East Coast Fear,” a frantic, punk-metal gallop full of daggerlike guitar stabs and despairing mantras. Morgan focuses on the chilling warning, “It’s a dangerous thing/To love what death can touch,” testing it out over dissonant breakdowns, bareknuckle drum breaks, and knotty riffs. Morgan’s westward push contains a faint shard of hope, as he shouts, “There are other worlds than these/And through that door there might be a chance at peace,” but he quickly follows it up by quipping, sardonically, “Or at least another drink.” When peace is too much to ask for, Gator Shakes raise their glasses high, and then smash them into your eardrums.