“It began with blood. It would end the same way.” It’s been more than 20 years since I read that line in Christopher Pike’s dark YA novel Monster. I have no idea why I remember it to this day, Bummer‘s new EP has made me think of it more and more. Carnage runs rampant through the first two songs on this self-titled release, with pieces of brain and bone throughout displaying the take-no-prisoners approach to lyricism from John Rossiter.
A couple weeks ago I posted the first single from the EP, “wayisound.” It’s the lead track and gives a pretty good impression of what’s to follow in the next three songs. It’s dark and brooding, with a heavy 90’s influence (Alice In Chains/early Modest Mouse). Rossiter writes vividly, painting a picture with his words so horrifyingly beautiful it can be repulsive and undeniably compelling at the same time.
This continues with the second song “cannibal, cannibal.” It carries over a lot of the themes from Rossiter and bassist Shawn Nystrand’s former band Young Jesus-self doubt and destruction, loneliness. While YJ was a pretty straight-forward rock band, Bummer throws in some wrinkles with some crazy electronics and out-of-nowhere tempo changes.
The second half of Bummer shifts away from the acrimony with two songs sharing the word “love” in the titles. The first, “youloveme,” feels like it may be in the perspective of a delusional stalker trying to convince his prey that he’s the one for her. The second, “ifyoufallinove,” is actually very pretty at times, and seems quite genuine.
I’ve been a big fan of this grunge resurgence taking place the past couple of years. Between Bummer and Slothrust I have every confidence that it’ll stick around for a while. This EP comes out on Tuesday, April 8th. You can DL it from the group’s Bandcamp page for as little as one dollar!