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Gravel Pit, Happy Valley, Insidious Retch
July 18, 2019 @ 8:00 pm - 3:00 am$5
03 JAN 2019 // A REVIEW BY PAUL GODDARD
Speed…… the faster you go, the harder the hit. The faster you go, the more energy it creates. Without speed life would be pretty dull.
Gravel Pit know all about speed. They don’t slowly build up to it they just explode from the get go and stay there. The four songs on this debut EP are like the aural equivalent of being hit in the face by a flurry of punches from Conor McGregor
“Anger is an energy” and there is plenty of anger and attitude in the vocals from Bailey. Her voice is the perfect fuel to keep this blast of hardcore punk ‘n’ roll burning. The music is brutal with a relentless thrashing of drums and guitars. The four tracks are over in a 9 minute blur of high energy. It is a vitriolic release of emotions.
After one listen I decided to dust myself off and go for round 2. The volume was upped a few notches and that’s where the magic happened. When you dig a little deeper into the pit you find layers, depth and even melody. There is something about Gravel Pit that I can’t quite put my finger on. They have huge potential and as this is a debut EP there are parts that don’t quite gel. One example is the guitar break on The Horn. Maybe I am being picky (excuse the pun) but it just doesn’t work for me. Of course a Slash-esque bit of guitar wankery would sound completely out of place on a song like this but the guitar break here veers too far in the opposite direction and comes across as trying too hard not to be a guitar solo.
It would be lazy to label Gravel Pit as just another Hardcore Punk band. Get past the initial adrenaline rush and you will feel something else. There is no sing along anthem on here but snippets of lyrics will creep up on you slowly underneath the jet blast sonics. A middle finger seems to be stuck firmly in the air on all these tracks but there is more to Gravel Pit. A hint that they could go off in any direction. Whilst that doesn’t happen during this EP, should they choose to, they could develop into something special, even let the throttle off from time to time without losing any of the excitement or buzz.
Overall, Gravel Pit are a shot in the arm and something we need especially in the tight knit scenes we tend to create and destroy in cities like Wellington and Auckland.
Love it or hate it (I love it) this EP shows that Gravel Pit have what it takes to create something new in a genre that is often dismissed as being very one dimensional. Whilst I do love this EP I am more excited about the potential that lies underneath that raw, rough edge.
You should buy this EP and hopefully Gravel Pit will aim to get one step ahead of the pack, stay true to their core and look back as others follow.