CD REVIEW – Abertooth Lincoln (various singles)

Who? What?

In summary, Abertooth Lincoln is an aggressive, spacey hardcore progressive punk band from Dayton Ohio whose music is heavy, weird, complicated, presented in glittery space pants and 80’s glam metal vibes. Their lyrics offer biting satire and direct, harsh social commentary, delivered with commanding energy from front person Edith Coleslaw aka Ashley Pooler. You will not forget this band.

Apparently the band’s debut single ‘Hell House’ came out via Riot Records a while ago, and was described as one minute frantically going: “from L7 to Dillinger Escape Plan to an almost Mr Bungle-esque frenzy topped with some B52’s weirdness”. More of that later.

But for a summary description of this band – they weren’t wrong!

But don’t get me wrong either. This is no bubble gum or throwaway band. They trumpet their ideals and politics loud and clear: “Mother is Coming” is a self-loathing acknowledgement of our own complacency and the overwhelming guilt and helplessness felt when reflecting on the hypocrisy of religion, turning a blind eye to the terrible treatment of children and families at the border, and the willingness to justify our own comfort and security over those not as fortunate. It’s a desperate plea for earth to punish us all for the sins of neglect, greed, and the insatiable pursuit of human self interest. The first half of the song is meant to feel frantic and anxious, with moments of looming dread that almost serve as a “summoning” of earth to destroy everything and push the reset button on humanity. The last minute of the song represents earth’s triumphant overthrowing of all that we built in service of ourselves. It’s a cathartic release of all the tension built up to that point.” – James Lampe

Mother is Coming is a 4 minute anarchic thrash blend of B52s meet Frank Zappa. An assault on the senses in each verse leads to intricate instrumental interplay breaks and brief melodic choruses to its poppy thrash close. Prog-pop death metal anyone?

And how about Soup for the Family:

This song is a response to the violent and subversive actions taken by undercover federal officers, police and right-wing militia against BLM protesters during the summer of 2020 in US cities. In Portland, Oregon people were literally pulled off of the street and forced into unmarked cars for simply protesting. The military sought to use heat ray guns against protesters in DC in September. Federal troops were sent into cities, and there are countless, documented examples of “mysterious people” taking actions to discredit the movement, doing things such as “brick baiting” or vandalizing property in an effort to distort the story and incite further destruction that could then be blamed on the protests. Then you have police gassing the streets to make way for Trump to stand in front of a church, bible in hand, for a photo shoot. Sounds like some ‘Escape from New York’ level fiction, but it’s really happening. This is our very angry song about it.”

This band are angry. A punk-thrash potty-mouthed response to Billy Joel, almost, his ‘We didn’t start the Fire’ is seemingly responded to by the violently shouted response ‘We know who started the fire’. The melodic chorus is followed by a speed-driven section that makes me tired just listening to it. Clever instrumental breaks and rhythmic structures give space before each subsequent angry assault. This band puts musical genre through a blender and devours the contents.

And Finally……., the aforementioned Hell House:

This is the story of two naive but rebellious teenagers that magically get transported to a world within a comic book, in which they are subjected to the horrors of an evangelical hell house attraction. To save others from experiencing the same trauma and judgement, the teens take matters into their own hands, waging a bloody battle against the “demons” of Hell House. Hell Houses are a real thing, managed by evangelical churches in every state. They are run by people who get off on judging and condemning their neighbors, and pretending to be actual demons dragging sinners to hell. It’s violent indoctrination and fear tactics used on teens, and we thought it’d be fun if the people that do this sorta thing got sent to hell for a change.”

The only one that doesn’t start out at top speed, the staccato beginning climbs and descends before the pounding double kick drum leads to a possibly more straight forward pop-punk-thrash verse, clever rhythmic break, choral chorus and heartfelt political spoken section. Crazy but clever guitar shapes over driving rhythm section, spacey keys take us through to another heart-palpitating section, and we head to the dramatic but possibly most entertainingly proggy close.

And relax………


James Lampe, Ash Pooler, David Watanabe, Mike Werthmann, Andrew Humphrey

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