CLINGING TO THE TREES OF A FOREST FIRE (we’ll just call them CTTTOAFF in this review) are a grindcore / down tempo driven band from Denver, CO, and their latest release, Songs Of Hope And Desperation, is absolutely chaotic, no matter what pace it takes! I’m a fan of grindcore, but it really takes a crazy ass band to knock me on my ass for me to dig. CTTTOAFF does that, and with authority. Think older Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, Weekend Nachos, maybe some Gaza, and mix in modern production, and you’ve got a damn good grindcore band with a sharp edge to it! But wait, they do more than just grind your faces off! Add in a ton of down tempo that sounds like they’re reaching to the deepest depths of hell, and even some black metal vibrations, and you’ll see that CTTTOAFF are a very unique outfit. The amount of dissonant harmonies really makes this album shine, and the guitars are absolutely explosive, as are the frantic blast beats. Noise, noise, and more noise, CTTTOAFF says, but the band also has some very interesting variations in Songs Of Hope And Desperation. Read why.
The opening track “Teeth And Hair” starts things off right, and is vicious with the drums grinding along at super speed, and CTTTOAFF leaves you speechless. You’re probably thinking, “What the fuck did I just hear??”, and proceed to listen to it again. If you like the thought of a machine gun opening fire and never running out of ammo, “Teeth And Hair” is for you. Plenty of other absolutely chaotic tracks make CTTTOAFF’s latest the adrenaline rush that it is. “I Walked Away From The Human Race” goes on a killing spree, with their middle finger raised to the stupidity of humanity, CTTTOAFF surely opens fire in all directions. This album so far is bloody fucking brilliant, but wait until you hear some of the twists and turns later on in this release…
In the midsection of this album, you’ll run into songs like “Gold Frankincense And Myrrh” that are slower, but still have significant stomp, and enough downtempo and sludge to pummel your face to oblivion! Sick time signatures also occur in “Gold Frankincense And Myrrh” as it seems they’ve borrowed a few chords from The Dillinger Escape Plan. “Gold Frankincense And Myrrh” is definitely CTTTOAFF at their most epic on Songs Of Hope And Desperation, and I look for them to expand more like this in the future. They’ve created one hell of a thrill ride here, riff by riff. “Recession” and “Bouquet Of Self-Pity” follow a similar path as “Gold Frankincense And Myrrh”, and it’s all that heavy-as-fuck down tempo that satisfies the listener, going straight to the throat. Right after “Bouquet Of Self-Pity” annihilates your consciousness, “Leather Hands” does the same, and even has a few sing-a-long moments, and vocalist Ethan McCarthy’s gnarly growls and shrieks equal insanity.
I’m sure if you see these guys live, you’ll truly understand how heavy they are. I’ve seen plenty of like-minded bands live like CTTTOAFF and all of them never cease to impress how heavy their music is from a live perspective, which is usually even heavier than their studio sound. If you like loud and absolutely crazy, yet unique at the same time, pick up a copy of CTTTOAFF’s latest, out via our pals at Prosthetic Records. Multiple spins of Songs Of Hope And Desperation are mandatory to comprehend the total destruction the band unleashes, and I promise they’ll leave you in awe each time! These guys seem to be testing the limits of extreme, and I think the band is on its way to becoming an underground favorite.