"Every Tongue Shall Caress"

By Lord Randall

From hardcore upstart A389 Records comes THE LOVE BELOW’s debut LP (cassette to follow soon, natch) Every Tongue Shall Caress. After the split 7” with HOMEWRECKER, my first experience with SoCal’s TLB, I wasn’t sure how anyone could take a full 40-ish minute album of the sludge/doom/whathefuckever you’d call it concocted by the quintet. Apparently neither were they, Every Tongue… clocking in at about half that time, and including all 3 songs from the aforementioned split. 
The hangdog lurch of ‘High Friends In Low Places’ quickly gives way to straight up INTEGRITY/EARTH CRISIS worship, always a good thing when done right in my book. Neither as bull-rhino-bellowing as the former, nor as vegan/edged-out as the latter, THE LOVE BELOW is all about the shitty occurrences in everyday life and how we choose to overcome them or dive headlong into our own demise, doused in kerosene and flicking a Bic maniacally. ‘Nazi Uniform’ sticks with the sludge for the most part, reminiscent of fellow Californians THE ABOMINABLE IRON SLOTH, while ‘God Don’t Make No Trash’ is this writer’s pick, at once crawling and groovy, jabs of old school hardcore punching their way into the frenzied pit. Beginning with a swamp-friendly BONGZILLA stomp, ‘Uncomfortable’ makes its encore appearance after the aural rape my ears endured on the split 7”, and ‘Social Fuck Disease’ swings like a pendulum between redline-pushing levels and sledgehammer brutality, declaring the mantra of the album, “I don’t know you, I don’t want to.”. Well said, TLB.

At its heart, Every Tongue Shall Caress is the perfect album for those hot, humid days sure to follow until summer’s end. You’re slimier than a gloryhole booth floor on 2-for-1 night, unemployed, 3 sheets to the wind, and generally fucking pissed. It won’t improve things, but it’ll make ‘em a lot more (un)bearable.