Goratory – Sour Grapes

“Wouldn’t you think that a species of this kind would adapt to the climate of a permeating grime?”


16 years and it’s finally here! The fourth full-length and follow up to the crushing 2004’s Rice on Suede, the return of Boston Death titans, Goratory. The gang’s all here: vocalist Adam Mason, guitarist Alan Glassman, Zac Pappas on bass, and Darren Cesca behind the kit. If those names don’t resonate, maybe these do: Job for a Cowboy, Deeds of the Flesh, Arsis, Pillory.  Oh yeah– now you know what’s up. If you don’t you might want to take a moment to take a sip of water, take a deep breath, relax your jaw, and maybe get a helmet, because this welter is not a pleasant ride rolling between depravity and humor, with abusive riffs and lyrics not suitable or your momma.

The album opens with “Rat King,” a primer for the incoming brutality. Lyrics detailing the plight of rats doomed to die entangled, narrated in gurgling lows and pig squeals, harsh highs, slam riffs starting and ending in a swirl of the grooving rhythm. “Losing Streak” is about a person snapping with no hope for anything to get better. It’s tough to find more killer phrasing and syncopation that the track jumps to from section to section. Next is the first single, the saga of Dr. Coprophagia, who devises a concoction to cause people to become overtaken by diarrhea and flatulence that leads to everyone perishing in an explosion at Burning Man, the future classic, “I Shit Your Pants.” “Bottom Feeder” is a chapter on cannibalism. Lyrically gross, but filled with grossly delectable riffs. Next up is “Evolutionary Wart”, one of my favorites on the album. Classic-society-is-doomed shit tearing down grub hub, anti vaxxers, self driving cars, “Ocean’s fucked, tummy tuck, living makes our planet suck.” In some ways, the track is a call back to the rats in the opener, a call to arms to kill your neighbor for the betterment of everyone. “The People’s Temple”, an ode to Jonestown. “Seth Putnam was a Sensitive Man” is a tribute to the late Anal Cunt front man. Duh, you cop. Closing out the album is a remastering of “Into the Grinding Machine” from 2001’s Sexual Intercorpse, now entitled, “Back to the Grinding Machine.” 

There is no questioning the level of skill of this Boston based Quartet. Mason’s vocals occupy a tier where I include artists like Travis Ryan, whether I catch what exactly the lyrics are or not, the tone’s what I’m hooked on. There’s no shortage of slams, chugs, grooves, and mean mugging while getting down with Glassman’s riffs, perfectly complemented by Pappas’ strong bass work, rumbling along but with enough flourishes throughout the album to remind you that yes, there is a thinking person behind these compositions, not content to just nestle in with the drums and sulk in the lower frequencies. The drums don’t let up front to back, and they sound alive. No “St. Anger” snare here. It could be easy for lesser players to try to write an album like SOUR GRAPES and produce 45 minutes of repetitive double bass and toilet vocals, but much like the dude staring at some low hanging fruit on the cover, this album is a trip, and you won’t want to buckle up. Press play, brick the gas pedal, enjoy the impact.

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