Last weekend I came across an EP named Laws of Power that was digitally released in July by a band named Expander from Austin, Texas. It seized me by the throat so fast and so firmly that I spilled some words about it on Monday of this week (here), while noting that it would be released on tape by Caligari Records. Little did I know at the time that I would be ending the week as I began it — with more music from Expander.
It turns out that this past summer the editors at Metal Sucks selected Expander to be one of 10 unsigned bands who would be given the chance to record new music at Converse Rubber Tracks — Converse’s free recording studio — in either Brooklyn, NY, with producer Will Putney (The Acacia Strain, Suicide Silence, Exhumed), or in Boston, MA, with producer Kurt Ballou (Converge, High on Fire, Torche). Expander did their thing with Kurt Ballou, and while Metal Sucks earlier premiered one of the two songs they recorded with him, the band have just today released both tracks via Bandcamp.
Expander has already proven that they’re perfectly capable of hitting some massive licks on their own, but this they got some A-grade help in making these two songs slug like a pair of heavyweights. Mixing metal heft and punk rhythms, scalding vocal acid and gritty yells, both “H.E.L.L.B.O.O.T.” and “Harding Ice Command” are spine-shivering head-wreckers. But they’re not only raw and raucous songs that rampage in a bone-rattling, red-eyed fury, they’re catchy fuckers, too.
A very nice way to end the week, though I’m afraid I’m now feeling mean enough that I can’t wait for someone to piss me off.
Expander was engineered and mixed by Kurt Ballou with assistance from Robert Cheeseman, and it was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. The very cool cover art was created by Raúl González. It’s available as a name-your-price download at Bandcamp: