Primate may draw attention because the band features Bill Kelliher of Mastodon and of Kevin Sharp of Brutal Truth. That is all the better for introducing fans to this completely refreshing blast of punk urgency. In so many words, “Draw Back a Stump” is everything that punk rock should (and used to) be. It’s blistering. It’s immediate. It comes in short sonic but merciless blasts. It is lyrically provoking. And at 20 minutes, it’s done before you know it.
Seven of the disc’s 10 tracks have been available but since signing with Relapse the band has added guitar parts and remastered/remixed the original limited edition pressing — and added three new cuts for good measure. “Draw Back a Stump” might be best described as a mix of (real) hardcore and grind. Indeed, Sharp is screaming from his pulpit and the rhythm section is relentless. But this Atlanta quintet has a secret ingredient in guitarists Kelliher and Mike Brennan. Given Kelliher’s pedigree it’s probably not hard to figure out that the added weapon is a riff sophistication largely absent from just about all punk rock. The duo churn riffs that aren’t Mastodon murkiness but pointed jabs that serve as constant hits to the abdomen.
No song surpasses the three minute mark and four of them clock in at under two. Personal high points come toward the middle of the disc starting with “Hellbound” and ending five songs later with “Wasted Youth,” an old-school title if there ever was one. Given the CD’s brevity it’s also a welcome throwback to the days of punk and hardcore EPs. Primate is a reminder that sometimes the biggest blasts of power can be said in short time periods. Kudos to Sharp and Kelliher for taking the time to work on this project. The band played an album release show in Atlanta a few weeks ago. Hopefully they can squeeze in more occasional shows.