Only Shallow


Only Shallow No Way Out But Death cassette

At first read, I was immediately reminded of the MY BLOODY VALENTINE song, and I wondered if there would be a connection. Once ONLY SHALLOW started playing, I was transported to a world of groove and gloom that quickly galloped into a ripped D-Beat hardcore attack. The lines “Drape my organs around a plastic Christmas tree / At the end of life it’s only been me” scathe forth with anguished vocals in “Mistletoe Can Be Deadly.” This is dark deathrock with wild punctuations. I’ve been to Rochester in the winter, and this is the sound of grim dread with warm goth reverberations—“Buffalo 666” would be an additional description. DOOM meets GRIEF meets XYMOX and ROSETTA STONE. The other song themes really emphasize the tape’s title No Way Out But Death. There are some really sick double kick blasts on “No Justice, No Peace.” I love every song title here: very creative, but my favorite track is probably “Welcome to the Hellmouth”: “My heart is filled with spite / For everyone in sight / The texture of worms beneath my feet / Kicking up leaves on wet concrete,” sung sort of like CRO-MAGS and DR. KNOW’s later recordings. I appreciate the visuals, I appreciate the various style expressions of ONLY SHALLOW, I appreciate the upstate NY desperation. Now, at the end of this tape, I think the band name is about a grave and not the MY BLOODY VALENTINE song. P.S.—love a good church bell sample.