REVIEW: The Callous Daoboys – “Die on Mars”


Frenetic musicianship and irreverent humor collide on Die on Mars – the new full-length venture from Georgian metalcore sextet, The Callous Daoboys.

The record opens with an onslaught of stuttering, dissonant guitars whose chaos is heightened by atonal violin shrieks on “Flip-Flops at a Funeral”. Carson Pace’s manic vocal delivery transitions seamlessly from rabid snarls to pained yells, and eventually emo-tinged cleans during the song’s lounge jazz inspired midsection. The wacky mayhem continues to ensue in the following track, “Dog Fight Over the Trenches.” The song begins with a quick, discordant acoustic riff that opens up into a battering array of stop-and-start breakdowns and squalling guitar noise. Later on, the band opts for southern-fried groove à la Every Time I Die in the song “Blackberry DeLorean,” and do once more during the closing moments of “Pure Schlock.” Things get a bit more eclectic as the record reaches its end, with “Cobra Winfrey” blending disjunctive math metal with interstellar jazz, and with “Die on Mars (Addendum)” bringing everything to a close with a dreary piano ballad covered in a thick layer of fuzz. Finally, the band’s sense of humor runs a thread through all of this madness and takes the form of tongue-in-cheek lyricism and randomly-placed skits (ex: the restaurant skit in “The Absolute Barnstormer”).

However, like most bands bred from the metalcore and “Myspace” scene revivals, The Callous Daoboys indulge in the genre tropes popularized by their predecessors. While the band is miles ahead of many of their contemporaries creatively, there are still some predictable song structures and a heavy reliance on the infamous metalcore “alarm clock” riff/breakdown. While this doesn’t distract from the record’s fun, it feels like a bit of a safe move. There are plenty of moments on Die on Mars where it sounds like the band are actively trying to be more than what the genre demands, so it’s a tad disappointing when some of the songs follow a typical, tried-and-true path.

Overall, The Callous Daoboys’ Die on Mars is a pretty rambunctious good time. These Georgians have the skills to be the next boundary-pushers in the genre, and hopefully, this record serves as the first step toward that goal.

Rating: 7/10

Release Date: June 21, 2019

Label: Dark Trail Records (CD), Acrobat Unstable (12″), Pattern Recognition Records (cassette)

Favorite Tracks: “Flip-Flops at a Funeral,” “Fake Dinosaur Bones,” and “The Absolute Barnstormer”

FFO: The Chariot, Every Time I Die, Fear Before, Me and Him Call It Us, and SeeYouSpaceCowboy

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