Primitive Man – Caustic (2017)

Primitive ManCaustic (Relapse Records, 06 October 2017)


The world is an ugly, ugly place. Virtually everything and everyone in it is awful. At least, that’s often how it feels. And at such times, it can be helpful to have something pleasant and soothing to comfort you. But it can also be helpful to experience something every bit as ugly and awful, like a giant mirror that reflects the misery and vileness, and just drown yourself in it. Denver’s Primitive Man are pretty far from serving the former purpose, but boy do they ever make up for it as the latter.

Presumably you’re already familiar with the utterly spirit-crushing noise this trio produces, but just in case you’ve missed out, here we covered a 2014 split record and their 2015 EP Home is Where the Hatred Is, and then over here we dealt with another split record from 2016. The Home EP found its way onto my list of 2015’s top releases, where it would later be joined by its successor Caustic in the list for 2017.

That Relapse-relased record that dropped this past October is what we’re addressing today. Read about it, then watch a couple videos (but not at work, or at school, or near any small children, or in public, or around your parents, or in church…) and then finally, down at the bottom of this post you’ll find an extensive list of upcoming shows all over North America, the United Kingdom (with a one-off expedition over to Israel in the middle) and then all over North America again!


Primitive Man in Pittsburgh, July 2016


The twelve tracks comprising the oh-so-aptly named Caustic simply drip and ooze with liquid hatred and pain. But such syrupy thick, mucky and sludgey liquid — more feedback and crunchy distortion and dissonant buzzing than anything that could be mistaken for melodious or musical. With tempos wavering between a middle-paced trudge through a slow creeping crawl through a gruellingly glacial dirge, this is not an album likely to inspire levity or jollity. And with many of these songs approaching or exceeding the ten minute mark, it can certainly be quite a bit to endure the whole way through.

As always, the acrid icing upon the igneous cake is guitarist/vocalist Ethan McCarthy‘s unearthly howling and ungodly roaring. The scorching raw emotion that spews forth could be enough to make any listener wonder if they are hearing someone possessed by unnatural forces. Although by every account from anyone who has interviewed the guitarist and prolific bandleader, he is one of the nicest human beings you could meet. So it would seem that producing such intense music serves well as a means of catharsis — channeling all of the anger and frustration and vitriol that could otherwise manifest elsewhere in one’s daily life. I can’t say for sure whether that’s true, but I can attest that throwing on some headphones, turning the volume way up, and blocking out the terrible entirety of humanity (at least for the 77+ minute duration of this record) can definitely have that effect on you as a listener.




If somehow you find yourself living too far away from any of the band’s 4,000 or so upcoming tour dates (see below), or if you’re just a lazy and/or antisocial piece of shit, you can always pick up a copy of Caustic right here.


* * * * * * *


* * * * * * *




Primitive Man w/ Spectral Voice:

3/17/2018 The Sydney – Omaha, NE
3/18/2018 Cactus Club – Milwaukee, WI
3/19/2018 7th St. Entry – Minneapolis, MN
3/20/2018 Subterranean – Chicago, IL
3/21/2018 Macs Bar – Lansing, MI
3/22/2018 Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA
3/23/2018 Spark Art Space – Syracuse, NY
3/24/2018 Lees Palace – Toronto, ON
3/25/2018 Mavericks – Ottawa, ON
3/26/2018 L’Anti – Quebec City, QC
3/27/2018 Bar LeRitz – Montreal, QC
3/28/2018 Middle East – Boston, MA
3/29/2018 Geno’s Rock Club – Portland, ME
3/30/2018 Meatlocker – Montclair, NJ
3/31/2018 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY
4/01/2018 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA **
4/02/2018 Atlas Brew – Washington D.C.
4/03/2018 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA
4/04/2018 Basement – Atlanta, GA
4/05/2018 The End – Nashville, TN
4/06/2018 Fubar – St. Louis, MO
4/07/2018 Rock Island Brewing Co. – Rock Island, IL
4/08/2018 Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
4/09/2018 Syntax Physics Opera – Denver, CO
**Primitive Man only


Primitive Man w/ Bismuth:

4/25/2018 Trillians Rock Bar – Newcastle, UK
4/26/2018 North Of The Wall – Glasgow, UK
4/27/2018 The Old Courts – Wigan, UK
4/28/2018 Rebellion Club – Manchester, UK
4/29/2018 West Street Live – Sheffield, UK
4/30/2018 Old England – Bristol, UK
5/01/2018 Temple of Boom – Leeds, UK
5/03/2018 Levontin 7 – Tel Aviv, IL **
5/04/2018 Angel Microbrewery – Nottingham, UK
5/05/2018 The Junction – Plymouth, UK
5/06/2018 Desert Fest – London, UK
**Primitive Man only


Primitive Man:

5/19/2018 Hodi’s – Fort Collins, CO w/ Infernal Coil
5/20/2018 Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM w/ Infernal Coil
5/21/2018 Club Red – Phoenix, AZ – Club Red w/ Infernal Coil
5/22/2018 Garage Rock Bar – Tijuana, MX
5/24/2018 Flycatcher – Tucson, AZ
5/25/2018 Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
5/26/2018 Union – Los Angeles, CA w/ Celeste
5/272018 Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA w/ Celeste
5/28/2018 Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA w/ Celeste
5/29/2018 Blue Lamp – Sacramento, CA w/ Celeste
5/30/2018 Old Nick’s – Eugene, OR w/ Celeste
5/31/2018 Tonic – Portland, OR w/ Celeste
6/01/2018 Northwest Terror Fest 2018 – Seattle, WA
6/02/2018 Capital Ballroom – Victoria, BC
6/03/2018 Astoria – Vancouver, BC
6/05/2018 Neurolux – Boise, ID
6/06/2018 Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
6/11/2018 Barleycorns – Wichita, KS w/ Wayfarer
6/12/2018 Iron Horse Pub – Wichita Falls, TX w/ Wayfarer
6/13/2018 Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX w/ Wayfarer
6/14/2018 Santos Bar – New Orleans, LA w/ Wayfarer, Forn
6/16/2018 White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX w/ Wayfarer, Forn
6/17/2018 Austin Terror Fest 2018 – Austin, TX w/ Wayfarer, Forn
6/18/2018 Reno’s – Dallas, TX w/ Wayfarer, Forn
6/29-30/2018 Electric Funeral Fest – Denver, CO
8/16-19/2018 Temple Of Ascension Vol. 1 – Edmonton, AB


One response to “Primitive Man – Caustic (2017)

  1. Pingback: Slaves BC – Lo and I am Burning (2018) | Valley of Steel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.