POST-HALE-BOPP? The Doomsday crew.
You know who these men are. They have been other men. Who they were before does not matter.
_From the Doomsday Student bio
Drummer Craig Kureck, guitarists Steve Mattos and Paul Vieira, and vocalist Eric Paul comprise Doomsday Student, though the Heaven's Gate-inspired promo pic (with the quartet all sporting orange Pumas in place of the white Nike Cortez) prohibits visual identity. But they created a vicious and visceral sonic pummeling on their debut, A Jumper's Handbook — it's an eye-twitching beast of a record. A scathing self-help guide to the post-apocalypse brimming with Paul's vivid societal observations, the eight tracks ($12 CD/$13 vinyl at anchorbrain.com) offer all the screeching guitars, thunderous percussion, and spazzed-out vox you can handle.
Of course, many will instantly recognize the names and know what kind of animal we're dealing with here, referring to PVD noise-rock legends Arab On Radar (and, more recently, Chinese Stars) — but the band members have made it clear there's no looking back with Doomsday Student. They declined to delve into the details of an ill-fated AoR reunion a few years back, though I was surprised to even receive a heads-up from Kureck a few weeks ago plugging the upcoming show at Machines with Magnets:
"I'm starting to realize a lot of people in town still don't really know who we are," the email read. "Some have heard the name and others know we have a new project, but I think the connection hasn't been made for many."
That connection was fortified a bit when Doomsday Student went apeshit inside the Met and damn-near stole the show during Deer Tick's DudeSmash fest two weeks ago.
"This is not rock music," Paul sneered at the end of their set, the members all dressed in black with a sole white-hot spotlight blindingly gleaming off the bass drum.
A Jumper's Handbook is unrelenting and wickedly entertaining (Fort Thunder-meets-the Jesus Lizard) from the opening cut, "Ape In Love." Five seconds of feedback follows — about the only chance to catch your breath throughout — before "The Unborn Chant" flies off the hinges. "Bleeding Pioneers" careens around a marching groove; Kureck pounds away like multiple rabbit shots to the kidneys on "A New Bearded Monster," and rides a hissing hi-hat all over "Her Hairy Graveyard." Lyricist Paul is on fire throughout, right up to the final (and personal favorite) track, "World Without Teeth," where the singer's world-weary victims are "deep in the belly of one last fuck," and he observes a guy "screaming at the traffic while his kids beg for spare change to feed imaginary devils."
So, what about another Arab reunion? How about a Chinese Stars update? It's my duty to inquire, and the band offered a collective statement, clearly eyeing the future. Here it is, unedited and straight from the source via Kureck:
"There is no direct relation to previous bands other than the fact that each member has developed such a distinctly recognizable sound with their respective instrument/voice that they can't help but sound like themselves.
"We sound like we sound. We make music to make music. Our first album, A Jumper's Handbook, captures the purity of our sonic assault."
Doomsday Student will tour the Midwest and Canada with Tinsel Teeth in support of the disc this summer, followed by a four-week European tour, including a slot at the Supersonic Fest in Birmingham, England, with plans for another full-length album sometime next year.
DOOMSDAY STUDENT + TINSEL TEETH + THE REGENTS + RETOX | Saturday, June 30 @ 9 pm | Machine With Magnets, 400 Main St, Pawtucket | 401.475.2655 | doomsdaystudent.com