Reviews Gulch Burning Desire to Draw Last Breath


Burning Desire to Draw Last Breath

Here we go, something horribly maniacal approaches. An out of focus haunt looking like a Goya sketch funnels all the screaming souls from hell at the threat of a Gatling gun and an itchy trigger finger. In their place we as Listener fall into the gap. Each song features a compendium of heavy drum beats, variations of style and groove, all revolving around a dirty guitar-bass combo, and truly wicked vocals.

The descent to Hell is infinitely deep in all directions and often such aggressively unpredictable music falls in all directions simultaneously. Instead of losing track of time and gripping with our ears the infinite, something akin to intimations of immortality, we become too aware of each complexity that seems not complex enough, not fast enough, not meaningful enough. But a nail through the finger is pretty meaningful to the nihilist! And the inevitable consequence of such manically aggressive music is rapid-fire changes between parts, no time to breathe, blood pumping anxiety, short songs, shorter records, and a feeling of wanting more in the emptiest way. Just listen to Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s Altered States of America for an extreme example. This misleading effect is experienced something like when a short song sounds longer than it is.

Moreover, Gulch’s lyrics look like they’ll lose control of the music and fall into the same pit of Hell with their listeners, spiraling in currents of depression, and self-destructive anger. Contrary to this evidence, their songs seem longer than expected. Each node of negativity sketches a dark constellation around great riffs, catchy hooks, and a killer vocalist, disguising the demon with distractions of sonic goodies. We only see, or rather hear, what their extremes outline: that of the primal satisfaction of novelty. Most surprising is how the songs sound more transcendent that expected, especially amid their shadowy anguish.

There’s somewhat of a gamblers psychology at work underneath this EP. Not every riff is a golden nugget. But as long as the gambler wins sometimes, randomly, he’ll keep playing, and likely get addicted to the future. At the risk of emptying out all the power of their songs, ruining them, Gulch takes more liberties with the structure, winning some, losing others.

In summary, ostensibly, the most negative light covers Burning Desire to Draw Last Breath. It flings the listener to the pit of hell, seducing them into enjoying their misery much like the demon that influenced their music and lyrics. But miraculously Gulch reaches in, pulls the listener out, and casts a net shortly below the surface, giving us intimations of mortality. Instead of spiraling in infinite addiction to novelty, from the fire into the frying pan, the EP does end leaving us satisfied enough to overlook its negativity, and wanting more to inspire hope for a future release just as good, if not better, in rage colored eyes.

7.4 / 10Robert F.
Tor Johnson Records
Leave a comment

7.4 / 10

7.4 / 10

Share this content
Radio K 2
Recent reviews


Beautiful Ruin

8.0 / 10 Converge - Beautiful Ruin album cover

Converge—Nietzsche’s pissed off nephew, Rilke’s furious friend—achieves a glimmering consummation in a mishmash of fourness (which, in numerology, symbolizes spiritual wholeness). They went from thrash titans to sonic gods; now ...



7.8 / 10 Northwoods - Wasteland  album cover

'[T]here the nightingale filled all the desert with inviolable voice and still she cried, and still the world pursues, "Jug Jug" to dirty ears.' And likewise, with dirty ears, the ...

The Bils

Past Masters: Volume 1

6.5 / 10 The Bils - Past Masters: Volume 1 album cover

The Bils are Bil and Michelle Bilson, a husband-wife duo that play laid back rock schooled by classic duets. Depending which paragraph of their press sheet you’re reading, they are ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.