Season to Risk

Perhaps the best indication that a band is doing something new and genuinely interesting is when music critics thrash around in desperation looking for other bands to compare it to. Season to Risk has been associated most often with Jesus Lizard -- probably because of Steve Tulipana's growling, howling vocals. But the band has also been compared to Helmet, Tool, Pantera, Fugazi, Henry Rollins, Voivoid, the Sex Pistols, Bad Brains, Cop Shoot Cop and Unsane, sometimes all in the same article. To see the regal music scribe reduced to such grasping must be satisfying indeed to a band long known for straddling genres. Season to Risk is somewhere in the neighborhood of noise rock, loud indie rock and arty punk. But this neighborhood is definitely on the wrong side of the tracks, and the band would probably burn it down given half a chance. The Shattering, Season's first release on the Fort Collins-based Owned & Operated Records, blends these elements into a nasty, bleak stew that rages against the modern world's unending mission to crush the spirit out of humanity. And they make it fun, too.

Painting musical pictures that seem to outline the sickness that dwells between the crumbling walls of blasted gray cityscapes -- as well as between the sun-dappled green lawns of suburbia -- Season to Risk emerges on The Shattering a more mature and fully fleshed-out band. The band still plays with guts via the pounding, relentless rhythm section it's always had, but it is the deviations from more typical song forms that are most interesting. Granted, there's all kinds of weirdness here: odd, disjointed rhythms; manic, shouted tribal chants; super-deep, freaky vocals that cannot be endured when a listener is taking certain substances. But on songs like "Despair," for instance, the band creates a slower, darkly trippy sonic walkabout, the rhythm for which sounds like it was created by someone banging on a broken car door with a hammer.

If the apocalypse is to be televised, The Shattering should be the soundtrack.


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