Remains (Sick Room Records)
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Nov. 30, 2012
The GaryRemains (Sick Room Records)
The country's in crisis, pushing toward a tipping point in the us-versus-them battle heightened by the presidential election. The Gary's Remains doesn't address the issue directly, nor is it overly political. Yet, over the course of 31 minutes, the local trio boils down the essence of the so-called 47%, the toiling frustration and restless abandonment. More Shellac than Son Volt, the Gary continues the barbed fury of its previous, Steve Albini-produced El Camino EP with industrial-strength lament "Fair Weatherer" and squalling "Innocent Bystander." The second half's more brooding, darkened by bassist Dave Norwood's rusted vignettes. Opener "Valhalla" nails the best of both with a veiled reference to former Rep. Charlie Wilson and the war in Afghanistan. "You suppose by chance, we overstayed the dance?" asks Norwood through stiffening jaws. The tension builds as Trey Pool pulls shrapnel from his guitar. Then Norwood finally snaps. "Let's burn ourselves!" he screams, as if doused in Big Black's "Kerosene." Something had to give.