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Like That Slimy Guy You Touched in the Pit - 83%

TheStormIRide, August 15th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Soulseller Records

Studfaust is a Norwegian heavy metal act that was formed in 2011 by multi-instrumentalist Tore Bratseth and legendary drummer Bard Faust. Their name was derived from combining Bratseth's stage name with The Batallion, Stud Bronsen, with Bard Faust. While we could spend hours dissecting the influences at play here, the band considers their sound to be “rock 'n' fucking roll”, so we'll just go with that. Where the Underdogs Bark (2014) is the band's debut EP and features seven tracks of dirty and rocking heavy metal.

Studfaust's sound embodies the eighties underground, calling to mind the likes of Motörhead and Venom. It's shouldn't really be surprising, as Bratseth also plays in a Motörhead cover band called the Bömbers. The music is dirty and unpolished yet it shines with that oh so blasphemous gleam that fans of Whipstriker and Midnight will understand. The music is a mix of thrashy runs, like the pummeling paces of “Erection of the Egoist”, speed metal rhythms with a devious rollicking tones like on “1980's Ladies” and the sauntering swagger of “Hell is Full”. Despite the assorted approaches, everything on Where the Underdogs Bark embodies the band's approach to rock 'n' fucking roll. To quote a famous band, this is dirty, mean and mighty unclean.

This is one of those times where the sheer simplicity of everything counts for way more than any technical prowess or slick production could ever make up for. The music has that sloppy, in the moment sound, that despite being dirty, filthy and quite raw, is catchy and headbangable in the best way. Along with the raspy screams, a fair amount of gang shouts are used giving a punk flair at times. I would have that Studfaust's gigs are out of control if they capture these sounds live. This type of rocking heavy metal was made for underground venues.

Where the Underdogs Bark is certainly not an original endeavor, but who cares. Studfaust isn't out to break the mold, it's just a few guys chugging beer and rocking out. The band's rollicking and filthy rock 'n' fucking roll is energetic and dripping with the sticky stuff at the bottom of the floor at the end of a show; that disgusting mixture of booze, sweat and other bodily fluids we always hope doesn't wind up touching any exposed skin. Don't wear shorts.

Written for The Metal Observer.