Producer: Caleb Shomo
Label: Red Bull Records
Years ago in San Francisco, I interview Caleb Shomo, the mind behind Beartooth, after he performed an opening set for Blessthefall and August Burns Red's co-headlining tour. I had seen Attack Attack! before when he was both doing keyboards/synth work, all the way through his time as frontman for the band. After interviewing and chatting with Shomo for twenty minutes, I walked away genuinely hoping for nothing but the best for this guy. He seemed like a musician that truly got it and just wanted to make music because he loved doing it. Would you believe it if I told you that Beartooth was a project that wasn't started as a serious endeavor?
Fast forward to 2016, and Shomo has released the band's second studio album, Aggressive. It's his best body of work to date, period. He is a songwriter that truly gets better with everything that he records and produces. Disgusting, the band's first record, was one of my favorite punk/metalcore records of the year when it was released, and Aggressive will be the leading contender in that category for my 2016 pick, without a doubt.
Every song on Aggressive is constructed with, well, aggression. But his emotion doesn't over-power any of the tracks, it only emphasizes what he is setting out to write and perform in each number. I can only imagine the kind of intensity that will be brought to a live setting when the band tours more extensively in support of the record.
Shomo's voice has matured along with his songwriting, proving that he is a force to be reckoned with among frontmen in the music scene. Additionally, he manages to make tiny little changes to their sound with each release, while still keep every song within the same vein of the overall image and sound that is Beartooth. I wouldn't be surprised one day if Beartooth grew out of metalcore and hardcore punk completely one day and went on to make straight-up rock and roll records. While I can't wait to hear what they have next, I'm going to blast the hell out of Aggressive. There's no question about that.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.