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Whatever happened to these guys?
Jeremy Ulrey | Austin, TX | 02/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Those who feel there is still room for more hardcore-influenced groove metal in this world should welcome Pulkas with open arms. Many will have already witnessed their party crashing debut on the Earplugged 2 comp from last year, and here in the 9-8 the band are back for more. "Rubber Room" marries a chunky bassline to a Rage/Sepultura hybrid chorus. If I were Pulkas, I'd definitely start my live set with this one. Like sonic cousins Korn, Pulkas seem to recognize the value of melodic singing and quiet passages as an effective contrast to the more bombastic displays of riff bludgeoning, as witnessed by "Drown", a fairly mellow number that escalates through several stages of mounting blood pressure before erupting into "Hippy Fascist", the Earplugged track that brought the band to the attention of metal fans worldwide looking for the next big thing. Throughout the remainder of the album Pulkas manage to work all of their influences into their sound without making it ridiculously overt. But what makes them more valuable than most similar bands on the scene is not originality but consistency. Even though the songs are all based around fairly simple power chord progressions and shouted call-and-response choruses, there's a freshness to each of the eleven tracks which allows each to maintain a singular identity, whereas many of these types of records tend to blur together into one seamless mess. Thanks should probably go to studio mastermind Colin Richardson, who masterminded the sonic blueprint for this effort with the same dedication he gave Fear Factory and the legions of other bands he's helped out over the years. But then again, these guys supposedly kick ass live so any producer chosen would've had a lot to work with."