Review – Party Cannon: Partied in Half

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Review – Party Cannon: Partied in Half
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Party Cannon: Partied in Half
Brutal Death Metal, Grindcore
Gore House Productions
September 16th, 2014
Release length: 29:45
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When you hear a name like Party Cannon, the last thing you think of is a five-piece Brutal Death Metal outfit. And yet, this is what we have before us today. The band came together in 2010 to perform a style they have dubbed “Party Slam” with a lyrical focus on partying, women, social decay, and war. It’s an odd mixture meant to be “Heavy, fun and cool” in the long run. Since coming together there have been two singles, two demos, and the live album Drunk in Cambridge in 2013. 2014 sees most of that material brought forth in a six track EP titled Partied in Half through Gore House Productions. This also introduces drummer Martin Gazur and rhythm guitarist Mike McLaughlin (Agonised Deformity) into the fold, replacing Neal Mullen (former Annihilation) and Jack Welsh (former Lycanthropy) respectively. But does this new line-up and offering stand as the best Death Metal party favors yet, or is this essentially the giant orange peanut of the Halloween treat bags that every kid hates to get?

Partied in Half is your fairly standard Brutal Death Metal recording, though it does bring in Goregrind elements with some slams that can act more like Deathcore breakdowns at times. It also has a couple audio samples from various films play up the fun nature of the recording, such as the clip from Superbad that starts off “Duct Taped to a Flag Pole”. There’s a nice mixture of fairly paced blast beats behind some impressive guitar technicality and strong guttural vocals with a nice range that is rarely explored for the secondary sickly raspy approach. The louder bass guitar presence helps to give the blunt performance some additional energy, which is necessary given most of the performance until the slam just half way through comes off pretty lifeless. “High Five Ghost” follows this formula closely, though the bass carries more of a twang, allowing the guitars that seem to show off at times to sound a bit more energized. Even the trudging slams at the end are hard to resist bobbing your head along to obediently.

“There’s a Reason You’re Single” takes the blunt side of the band and focuses on less intricate riffs to bludgeon you with simpler chords in the main verses that carry a surprising eeriness at times, all with a superb deeper bass backbone against a slower, groovier chorus and creepy bridges that build to infectious slams that could use a little more substance to make the point of impact as powerful as it really should be, but overall are some of the best you’ll find on this release. The final one towards the end, however, just feels like padding overkill, much like most of “Battle of the Spider-Man!” The bass is there to make the complexities a little stronger, but it’s when the music basically stops for a second just past the minute mark, causing a very brief but jarringly abrupt loss of flow early on, all to accommodate a quick fade in on a generic slower paced breakdown. This even happens again for the later guitar solo that is nowhere near as impressive as the very brief one about three minutes in.

There’s only a few songs here that really have the power to become the life of the party. First is “Tyrone, You Put That Sugar Down” thanks to a number of notable differences: The main verses bring more of that sickening rasp forward, the music itself sounds sharper, and there’s more focus on speed than complexity that feels like the band is just showing off. But then you have the chorus, which does slow things down quite a lot, allowing that dull atmosphere to creep back in. Fortunately there’s a good enough transition used that makes this fairly catchy yet commanding segment still fit in with the rest. Aside that last bit, much of this song can remind you of a toned down Gorerotted. “Everyone is Dead to Me” does this as well for the first half, but it’s the lead up to the breakdown, as well as everything after, that hurls this track in more of an unoriginal Whitechapel direction.

Partied in Half isn’t a bad release overall, but it isn’t something one would consider the dubbed “Part Slam” genre to be. As a band, Party Cannon has a pretty noble idea that is just not executed anywhere near as well as an Andrew W.K. album. The concepts of party-themed violence are there, but the brand of Brutal Death Metal and Goregrind they perform is quite basic to the point where the fun theme of the release is lost among a number of songs that sacrifice enthusiasm for uninspiring complexity with creepy or haunting undertones in the riffs. Maybe Party Cannon can give the songs a little more energy live than they wound up capturing in the studio, but even where violence and brutality considered, this one just doesn’t really take the cake.


01. Duct Taped to a Flag Pole – 5:32
02. Tyrone, You Put That Sugar Down – 4:19
03. High Five Ghost – 5:24
04. There’s a Reason You’re Single – 4:48
05. Everyone is Dead to Me – 3:37
06. Battle of the Spider-Man! – 6:06
Initial Pressing Score: 6/10

Party Cannon
Party Cannon

Digital review copy of this release provided by Party Cannon via FullBlast! PR.