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Pulling Teeth - "Vicious Skin" (CD)

Pulling Teeth - "Vicious Skin" CD cover image

"Vicious Skin" track listing:

1. Weeds (1:38)
2. Never Wrong (1:12)
3. Prepare For The Worst (1:28)
4. Heretic (1:32)
5. Vicious Skin (2:23)
6. Rot Forgotten (0:30)
7. Bleeding To Death (1:15)
8. Our Downfall (0:51)
9. The Kids Are Not Alright (0:45)
10. Weapon of Mosh Destruction (0:38)
11. Sand and Cell (2:51)

Reviewed by on June 1, 2010

"...a solid hardcore album. The level of aggression is just right and the influence from thrash/grind genres are a great addition."

Pulling Teeth is a pretty fitting name for this band. This full-length, “Vicious Skin,” is a tight, heavy assault on the ears that not only draws from typical hardcore punk sensibilities, but also incorporates influences from other genres. Ranging from thrash to Napalm Death-esque grind to hints of death and black metal, this album definitely doesn’t merge into the rest of the breakdown-laden chugfests that most modern hardcore tends to be. Pulling Teeth manages to keep the pace fast and straightforward without sacrificing heaviness in the process.

“Never Wrong” picks up the album into a fast-paced hardcore attack that doesn’t really let up. The band has included interludes here and there at the ends of songs, but for the most part, this album is little more than heavy and fast. This may seem like a bad thing, but fans of hardcore will definitely appreciate this. The lyrical content tends to be hate-filled rants on humanity’s ills in general, which fits the genre but isn’t anything new.

The song structures tend to be similar with a fast-paced body and slow down near the end, but at only fifteen minutes long, this album is brief enough and the music is catchy enough to barely affect the quality of the music. The band has included some high speed shredding into the music that really boosts the frenetic pace and helps Pulling Teeth stand out in the genre. Whether the band is hammering out thrash riffs or mangling the fret board for a blazing lick, “Vicious Skin” is one well-put-together hardcore album.

While I appreciate how blunt and to-the-point “Vicious Skin” is, some songs seem a little too short for their own good. Just when they get catchy, they end. While this is good for the repetitiveness of some of the songs, it seems like Pulling Teeth doesn’t quite realize their full potential in some songs. While the album’s music is high-quality all throughout, it seems like they could have extended some songs. “Vicious Skin” is probably one of the only albums I’ve heard in recent memory where the addition of another chorus or hook would be to the song’s benefit.

Overall, “Vicious Skin” is a solid hardcore album. The level of aggression is just right and the influence from the thrash/grind genres are a great addition. Though some songs could have been longer, the end result of this album is pretty satisfying. For being so short, this album is very power packed and will be appreciated by fans of hardcore.

Highs: Solid hardcore that incorporates sounds from other genres successfully.

Lows: Could have been longer; some songs too short for their own good.

Bottom line: Though brief, Pulling Teeth has produced a great hardcore album that delivers in several ways.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)