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Great Falls – “Shaped Like Another Man” (Premiere)

Great Falls

Great Falls play metal in the loosest sense. When playing with them at a show, the vocalist of Seattle’s Mercy Ties described them as “the metal Autechre.” While I think Autechre’s music is more rhythmically intense, that comparison feels right. Both groups focus’ simulate the new sounds of industry. If Black Sabbath was Tony Iommi trying to sound like hot lead flowing into a mold, then Great Falls is Demian Johnson slashing at the neck of his guitar hoping that it will sound like hard drives failing while mining metadata. All of that is present on “Shaped Like Another Man,” the climactic finish to the band’s new album The Fever Shed.

Listen for the relatively quiet vocal break. I say relatively quiet because Johnson is screaming his head off, albeit into a distant microphone. The band repeats the same thing live, and it’s usually the most affecting moment of their performance—which the song also tends to close out.

Shane Mehling, bassist in Great Falls and, it must be said, longtime writer for Decibel magazine (one of my favorite writers at that publication) had this to say about the track:

“Placeholder names are weird because, for us, it’s usually just a word or person that’s on our minds or in the news when we begin a song. 

That’s why our set lists have names of failed Republican presidential candidates, from songs we wrote around the ’12 election, and a song we started to write when Phillip Seymour Hoffman died means that it will always be known by his last name. 

Of course once the music is finished and the lyrics come in and the name is changed to something more appropriate and serious, to everyone else it takes on a much different color. 

And that is how you want it to be, especially because the lyrics on the record, and this song in particular, are really personal and incredibly sad. But with that in mind, we watched an old SNL skit when writing began, so we call this one ‘Ass Dan.'”

Funny—unlike the music. This is claustrophobic and slow, grooving noise.

—Joseph Schafer

The Fever Shed is awaiting a physical release, but you can pre-order it from Init Records. Follow Great Falls on Facebook.

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