Since executing vocals, guitar, bass, drums and programming in his studio, Shomo assembled some of his Midwest crew to form the live incarnation of the rapidly ascending outfit, putting a physical personification to the music rattling around inside his head.
Beartooth’s relentless determination, exceedingly connective performances and hard won respect amongst their peers has resulted in an extremely powerful new band who has only begun to get started. It’s a startlingly refreshing return to form for modern Metalcore, a back-to-basics exploration of dark emotions within a framework of heaviness.
Beartooth songs are jam-packed with the passion, energy and urgent excitement of the underground Metalcore that emerged over two decades ago, projected through the lens of men who are still in their early twenties but have packed a lifetime of experience into their careers. Beartooth is a wakeup call, a rallying point against scene trends that have watered down the vibrant spirit of a classic sound; there is nothing fake about the sentiments on display. It’s real. It’s raw. Driven by the gritty sounds of guitar, bass, drums and forcefully deliberate vocals, Beartooth’s opening salvo delivers undeniable anthems.
“I Have a Problem,” “Go be the Voice,” “Pick Your Poison” and “Set Me on Fire” confidently announce Beartooth’s arrival to the world via an aural assault that viscerally connects in a way that is primal and destructive. There is no distinction between the band and their audience. They are one. Beartooth serves up arrestingly personal musings that act as conduits to their fans, the people who struggle with the same issues.
The best bands are often birthed by the most modest of intentions. No master plan, no blueprint for success, no marketing strategies – these are the types of groups whose organic formation ensures an authenticity to their creative output that can’t be manufactured. When all of the stars align and the material is fully executed, it’s groups like Beartooth who ultimately dominate against pretenders to the throne.
Caleb Shomo has gone through more as a songwriter, performer and producer in just a few short years than some music industry veterans will witness in a lifetime. His early excursions under the DJ Club moniker included a collaboration with Max Green (Escape The Fate) and Craig Mabbit (Escape The Fate, Blessthefall, The Word Alive) – no mean feat for a super young kid forging an identity in suburban Ohio. At 15, he took on programming and keyboards for pioneering/controversial scene sensations Attack Attack!. When Austin Carlile (now in Of Mice & Men) left the group, Shomo took over on the brutal side of the band’s vocals for the Attack Attack!’s self-titled second album, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s indie chart. By the time Attack Attack! unveiled their third album, This Means War, Shomo was handling all of the vocals and programming and had graduated to fulltime producer, as well.
Battling mental health struggles with depression, anxiety and related overindulgence (like many of his young fans), Shomo bowed out of Attack Attack! to get himself together. He quickly reemerged as the EDM entity CLASS. The positively pissed off, positively loud Beartooth began as something done for diversionary fun, but rapidly became very “real.”
Driven by a fondness for modern “lifer” hardcore acts like Terror but equally inspired by everything from The Ramones to Queen, Beartooth is the product of everything that has subconsciously filtered through Shomo. He doesn’t make a plan when he goes in to write, he just unleashes whatever comes out of him. That’s how the band formed, too.
Producer, songwriter and Goldfinger guitarist John Feldman is something of a kindred spirit for Shomo, working with genre defining bands like The Used, Atreyu, Good Charlotte and Black Veil Brides and helping to sell over 34 million albums around the world. In his role as A&R for Red Bull Records, Feldman reached out to Shomo about lending his songwriting, production and performance talents to the emerging music brand. Over a smooth and natural evolution, Beartooth was off and running, making plans to record and tour as a genuine band, leaking songs on YouTube to tons of views, hand crafting unique physical EPs.
This new EP represents Caleb Shomo’s heart committed to record, in a way that’s raw, naked, honest and exceptionally relatable. That emotional catharsis, playing itself out via heavy music, is as much an escape for the multitalented frontman as it is for those who consume it.
Take a dive into the mind, take a journey into complicated issues, emerge refreshed and energized. Put on Beartooth and enjoy the ride.
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