Since 2018’s sophomore album “Crystal Death“, the follow up to their 2015 debut “Degenerate“, Melbourne Australia quartet Earth Caller have been dropping the singles. After perhaps controversially coming out has having been a drug dealer in the past and the concept for that 2018 album being related to the pain that he had caused with all the drama related to that lifestyle, how the vocalist Josh Collard writes from there is a curiosity that killed the cat for this release. The band, rounded out by guitarist Carlo Darbisi, drummer Josh Clinch and Nick Davies who handles both bass and vocals, joined Beau McKee in the studio and he recorded, mixed & mastered “Crook“.
Earth Caller previous crossed over rap screams with both Metal and Hardcore vibes and that is present from the very start with the thunderous “Virus” delivering a battery of vicious vocals from Collard. He switches between the rap screams we’ve heard previously and some new found depth roars in the verse which inject a new found power into the groups sound, while the return to some clean vocals for a chorus bring back that sing-a-long ability and vocal hook that they had on previous releases. The Metallic Hardcore leanings in the riffs are very much on point with the current crop of bands from the region and the breakdowns are pit starters. Collard then switches his vocals over to a spoken word rap style that brings DVSR to mind for “Push It” while rap screaming through the chorus. It’s an interesting style shift that some fans might not have seen coming but works really well in a classic cross over style. There is no space for cheese, no 1999 throwback vibe and no programmed beats, synths, vinyl scratches or samples which is what makes the track as Collard switches from gritty rap to Hardcore scream like the warning before pulling the trigger.
Having Isaac Black of DVSR on “Spit” validates the vocal styling choice on the previous track and sees Earth Caller provide us with a track that is a powerhouse upper cut from a prize fighter. The two vocalists tag team the verse and chorus parts so both get plenty of time to spit their venom and the band themselves bring the riffs that you might expect from the likes of Body Count. Mirroring that riff attack into “I Am No Good“, which also features some ferocious blast beats is a masterstroke as the band return to the styling of “Crystal Death” for a big clean vocal passage and a track that very much sounds like it could belong on that release. Release day single “Wherewithal” is described as “a heart felt homage to the bands that made the Australian and Worldwide Heavy Music Scene what it is today” and sees Collard talk about the tough times that saw him saved by the music he now creates with Earth Caller. It’s a sentimental piece to which everyone can relate and leaves you wanting the next set of new material from this band [7.5/10]