Ever since their debut EP, Renovate, back in 2017 Earth Groans have been making waves. Clawing their way out of the local South Dakota scene they gained international attention with their 2018 follow up EP, Rahab. If anything they have been prolific and continued to release additional EPs over the following 3 years with Prettiest of Things (2020), Waste (2020) and The Body (2021).
Earth Groans release approach has been a unique one as they have yet to release a full length album yet show no signs of slowing down any time soon. While some may be disheartened by the quantity of new tracks with each EP it does draw the focus on the quality of each subsequent release. Their latest release, Tongue Tied (Solid State Records) is no different. It’s aggressive and steeping in both metallic precision and hardcore chaos.
The EP has special significance to frontman Jeremy Schaeffer. “I was actually born tongue tied,” he states. “I had skin all the way up to my teeth, and I couldn’t move my tongue at all. They performed the surgery right away and freed my tongue completely. Throughout my life, it has been a metaphor. I’ve always had a hard time fitting into the community I’m in. This whole record refers to a person finding his or her voice. I found my voice through music. It’s how I’ve been able to communicate what’s on my heart and find my true calling. My dad always said, ‘Ironically, you don’t talk a whole lot, but your music is really loud’.”
Tongue Tied opens with the title track and carries an eerie intro that quickly ascends into the aforementioned hardcore chaos. Amidst the chaos there is a beauty found within the cohesive veracity that Earth Groans has forged in their own signature way that is both catchy and cathartic. “Overgrown” follows and has been the lead single released from the EP and showcases the metallic precision as the drumwork alone is extremely tight and when layered with the airy sonics of the guitars it creates an immense wall of sound.
“Over the Edge” is a barraging track with a melodic riff that has tone reminiscent of something you might here in a boss level of an old video game (think of a MIDI sound of sorts), but it gives the track a solid edge amidst the rest of the tracks with its hook. With solid lyrical lines like, “I won’t let this passion turn to poison,” the track is an exemplary example of the craftmanship Earth Groans puts in to each individual track. “Same Blood” carries a powerful punch as it confronts racism, homophobia and discrimination head-on with a punk-style gallop as the synths descend in to pummeling guitars.
“Discordant Symphony” brings the EP to a close and per Schaeffer, “brings the EP full circle. It’s all about using the abilities God gave you to do good and make the world a better place. When we do, it’s a beautiful symphony.” It is the perfect endcap on the EP as a whole.
Ultimately, Tongue Tied is a solidly crafted EP that just might inspire others to use their voice.
Tongue Tied is available now on all major streaming and digital platforms.
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