Artist: Get JIGGY With It
Album: Skull Smasher
Have you ever heard the idiom “don’t use a cannon when a flyswatter works?” Even if you haven’t, the message is far from obscure—sometimes the biggest, boldest gestures of force aren’t needed to get something done. After all, life is all about energy and how to allocate it, is it not? Well, what happens when the opposite is true; when you do, truly and completely need to “use the cannon” to get ‘er done? You get Skull Smasher, the debut full-length release by tongue-in-cheek spine-splintering deathcore outfit, Get JIGGY With It. Skull Smasher is just what it claims to be—an over the top, 20-pound sledge hammer aimed straight at the listener’s cranium, turning brain and skull into a sludgy, grey mixture with a series of positively punishing displays of ruthless heaviness. Soul-shredding slams clash head on with eccentric electronic elements and brutalizing breakdowns to create an album that might not be hyper-technical or thought provoking, but certainly is an entertaining and enjoyable venture into a state of sheer chaos.
What do you get when you combine Infant Annihilator’s lowest, slowest breakdowns with Preschool Tea Party Massacre’s sense of humor? Get JIGGY With It, in all their non-sensical, yet sensory-depriving heaviness. If the Pennsylvanian trio do one thing right, it’s non-stop, ridiculously raunchy brutality—and it starts with the grimy, low percussion and its companion, the bass guitar. With beefy, immense kick-drums that seem to snap from zero-to-six hundred beats per minute at the drop of a hat, Skull Smasher speeds up and slows down with enough unpredictability to give the listener whiplash. Right alongside the eclectic bass drum and spine-shaving snare drum (if it were possible for cannons to operate as machine guns, that would be the best way to describe the band’s blast beats) is Derek Kropp and his bass guitar. With grooves and riffs that give the listener the impression his bass must be covered in sewage, Kropp floods the listener’s ears with one low, filthy groove after another. These grotesque chugs are mimicked brilliantly the fretwork of Austin Eckert. Together, Eckert and Kropp create crushing breakdown after crushing breakdown, beating at the listener like an Everlast punching bag, refusing to stop until the listener is nothing but broken bones and bruised meat wrapped in a skin sack.
Get JIGGY With It don’t kill the party there, however—the band are relentlessly heavy in every aspect, not simply the low’n’slow breakdowns that dominate their onslaught. When not bruising the listener with Infant Annihilator-styled chugs, they are filling the listener’s lungs with liquid cement and letting it expand—drowning them with dense, Disfiguring the Goddess-esque slams. Where “Death Sandwich” and “Bloody Knife” heir on the side of heinously heavy breakdowns, “Goody Two Shoes” and “Skull Smasher” lay it on thick with more slams than a sumo wrestling tournament. “Goody Two Shoes” displays Get JIGGY With It’s more multifaceted approach to “bringing the heavy” with the use of vocalist Daimien Hartranft’s diverse range. Here—more so than on other tracks—Hartranft leads the charge, using screeched highs and guttural lows to link one slam to the next. Simply put, when Eckert and Kropp aren’t bewildering the listener with coat after coat of grimy heaviness, Hartranft is peeling back their skin with surgical precision and serial-killer ruthlessness; all with his exceptional vocal range.
However, in light of Get JIGGY With It’s scintillating love for the heavy, Skull Smasher might not be for everyone. Despite the band’s best efforts, the DIY mixing and haphazard combination of influences might leave some people stranded with two left feet, completely unable to…well, get jiggy. For instance, the hip-hop ambush at the end of “Stonehead” might be a bit much for some would-be fans. Additionally, portions of the release could be accused of monotony (I can already hear the “this part sounds just like the last song…” comments). However, these criticisms are just as flawed as the weaknesses they present; Get JIGGY With It aren’t out to change the world—if anything, they’re trying to crush it. Skull Smasher is a balls-out, no-holds-barred attack, delivering nothing but raunchy, fun heaviness—those who are looking for a serious and involved listening experience need not apply (or criticize).
Put on your dancing shoes and your Sunday best—invite that piece of eye candy out for a night on the town, because tonight, you’re going to Get JIGGY With It. Skull Smasher is a rollercoaster of raunchy, relentless brutality from start to finish, hitting filth-laden lows and sky-shattering highs in between. Perfect for someone looking to get their daily dose of destruction, this album puts the band as creators of 2014’s single heaviest album–crushing all those who stood in their path.
For Fans Of: wecamewithbrokenteeth, Disfiguring the Goddess, Infant Annihilator, Preschool Tea Party Massacre
By: Connor Welsh