Great Reversals - Demo 2009 [cassette] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Great Reversals

Demo 2009 [cassette] (2009)


Great Reversals have packaged their Demo 2009 cassette in a very cool, almost canvas-y cardboard sleeve, complete with liner notes containing their incredibly thoughtful lyrics. It's unfortunate that musically and vocally, they aren't all that great.

This Michican hardcore band lumbers--and I mean lumbers--along with disappointingly standard riffs and a relatively heavy but inherently boring, mid-tempo type groove, while their vocalist, Aaron Whitfield, shouts above it all in a really rough, atonal timbre. "All Is Arranged" offers a change of pace a minute in, but the band is going so slow it feels less like a moment of brilliant restraint and more just like straight fatigue. Inexplicably, the band just sound physically tired throughout this five-song offering.

In "The Cut, The Calling" it sounds like GR is tripping over themselves trying to pick up the tempo, while Whitfield fails to really help the momentum the band is trying to build. He gets some backup assistance from guitarist Steve Muczynski, who screams in a sharper, slightly more effective tone that reminds me of Soldiers frontman/This Is Hell guitarist Rick Jimenez, but it still isn't changing the landscape too crazily. "Separation Anxiety"'s intro promises something good, but soon stumbles into the same pitfalls that plague this entire EP. There's a little bit of a 108-ish thing going on at one point for "Forbearance Forthcoming" with a little guitar feedback, but it's a rare moment where the band stick out and try to mix it up.

I'll give the band some credit for having such a great mix of social observance and introspection--"Separation Anxiety" speaks of trying to retain a childlike sense of wonder as one grows old (think Drop Dead Fred) and "All Is Arranged" offers a poetic picture of trying to make a meaningful effort in life. But it's all for naught and lost in the largely grueling, lackadaisical pacing and generic territory the band dishearteningly linger through.

Demo 2009 EP