Out March 3rd on Twelve Gauge, Human Performance IV is Sabertooth Zombie's fifteenth (!) release since forming in Northern California a decade ago and, as the title suggests, it is the fourth (and final) EP in the band's "Human Performance" series.
Hailing from Santa Rosa and surrounding towns in the North Bay, Sabertooth Zombie's roots go deep in that area's hardcore punk scene. Peers include Trash Talk, Ceremony, and Creative Adult; the Tooth has toured the US and Europe with these bands and more. Two members also play in No Sir, whose 2013 album, The Future Is Bright, was released on Twelve Gauge to much acclaim.
With Sabertooth Zombie, hardcore punk evolves into something new: a noisy, driving, hard-rockin' wall of sound, where the band members' love of classic rock, stoner jams, and outlaw country gets a chance to shine. In describing itself, the band drops names like Merle Haggard and Pink Floyd, alongside other influences like whiskey, beer, the great outdoors, and American literature. This is a band wherein the highbrow and lowbrow collide _ atop dirt-rock barn-burning and caveman bashing, frontman Cody Sullivan spits electrifying lines of poetry, such as these from Human Performance IV's closer, "Crazy Endings":
"We slept outside all summer long / Moon aware and vastly waxing / Eating up the southern yokes / Talking about anything attractive / That was when the mountains had more and the sea had less / Now we put deep thinkers in the deep end and program the television... / A mega ton hazing from the idiot A-bomb."
Yet make no mistake: while Sabertooth Zombie might be all about guitar solos and Jack Kerouac, taking inspiration from anywhere but the hardcore scene, one look at its live carnival reveals the band's true colors: they still make the kids stage dive like maniacs. Witness live footage shot at Anaheim, California's fabled Chain Reaction, here.
Human Performance IV was recorded and mixed by Sam Pura at The Panda Studios (Self Defense Family, No Sir, North) and mastered by Piper Payne (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros).
01. The Headache
02. Coffin Coast
03. Gardens of Loss
04. Crazy Endings