Grim Observations: Lockjaw – Goliath EP (2015)

Industrial hell rockers Lockjaw are back with a new EP in the form of Goliath, which boasts five main tracks and about twenty minutes of playing time. But despite the fact that it’s just an EP, it’s a very solid release and I feel that many of the songs here are quite memorable. We begin with the atmospheric intro “Crush” (1:40) which builds into a creepy and later guitar-laden atmosphere (although I wish they could have worked this composition into a full track). Then we get into the first song, “Prettyache” (4:30) where that Marilyn Manson influence can be felt immediately. You can definitely hear it in Medavon’s vocals, as well as in some of the electronic compositions. But unlike Manson, they seem to have a more rocking edge, which makes the performance come off like that of a more sadistic type of rock n’ roll. “Suture” (3:25) is a little slower, but it still manages to deliver even with a dull-edged knife. There’s something in this one that makes me think it is a bit psychotic, and the composition definitely echoes that. “Terror Wave” (4:05) utilizes some trippy atmospheres which duet with exceedingly creepy leads. Again, you can sense that Twiggy influence in the guitars, which should definitely recall some of Manson’s earlier electronic rock infusions. The whole EP actually reminds me a lot of classic Manson and it comes off rather catchy; just like this song. There’s no doubt that Lockjaw are getting better with every release and I actually like this EP a lot more than some of the previous albums I’ve heard from them. It just feels like things are starting to gel now and a real sense of chemistry is being created, which “Death Of A King” (4:21) also seems to illustrate rather well. Such a piece comes off rather mild in the beginning, but grows increasingly brackish as the leads vomit forth a bit of fire and the vocal approach gets a little fiercer and more deranged. In fact, deranged is a very good way to describe Goliath, and it’s far more deranged than anything I’ve heard from Manson or Reznor lately. Perhaps one might say that those artists have grown up and have walked out of this heavy approach, of which I’m glad Lockjaw still revel in. “Goliath” however, does seem a bit more mature; with a much lighter and dreamier sensibility than anything I’ve heard prior. But it still houses a mental patient, even within it’s comforting and fluffy atmosphere of clean, almost euphoric melodies. It is there where the listen ends and I feel that things could be a bit cleaner and louder in some areas, Goliath evokes the rough and melodic sound of Lockjaw quite well. They really do manage to make this industrial rock style their own with this EP and it’s much a continuation of last year’s veritable rebirth in Combat Ready. Things are definitely looking up for these guys and they’re an act to watch, They still could have been famous from many of their previous songs and perhaps labels will catch on with this one. The hell rock has been too long ignored.

(6 Tracks, 22:00)

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