Cult Leader – “Skin Crawler”

In their nine-year existence, Salt Lake City’s Gaza produced three increasingly excellent albums of math-y, grind-y sludge: punishing, violent, very heavy music with deep grooves. Gaza called it quits earlier this year, but the band’s instrumental core — guitarist Michael Mason, drummer Casey Hansen, and bassist Anthony Lucero — stayed together. Those three formed a new band called Cult Leader, with Lucero moving to the role of frontman, and new member Sam Richards taking over on bass. Cult Leader’s debut LP, Nothing For Us Here, is due next April, but new label Deathwish Inc. has offered up a sample in the form of advance album track “Skin Crawler.” The titles reflect the sound: Cult Leader haven’t softened any of the edges they developed with Gaza. If anything, this is more intricate musically, but absolutely as abrasive and intense. I don’t know who produced this but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it was Kurt Ballou; either way, fans of Ballou-affiliated bands like Converge, Nails, Trap Them, and, um, Gaza, will be fans of this one, too. Check it out.

Nothing For Us Here is out 4/17 via Deathwish Inc.

Tags: Cult Leader, Gaza