I saw Junkowl last year at Heavy Montreal. They were the first band on Sunday and they came out swinging. They made an impression on me and ever since then I have been waiting for them to release an album. The wait is over.
Junkowl is a four-man band from Montreal: Jesse Frechette (vocals), Dom Labrie (drums), Marco Larosa (guitar), and Sam Matte (bass). Formed only a couple years ago, the band has pulled together solid compositional skills. While their music has a groove metal feel it also has a sharp edge.
Making Out With My Death offers “Snakecharmer” first, a mystical incantation about a succubus. It has a longish 90 second intro before Frechette jumps in with both feet to alert you that the song is going someplace else entirely. “Quarrantine Us All” is next, and it is just a punch in the face. Man, the lyrics (which I will let you discover when you listen to it) are some tough straight talk. Before you can really be sure what just happened in that song, “Shake Me” screeches your nerves. By now you are rattled, so the heavy riffs in the next song, “Dead Hooker,” give you a chance to collect yourself, but not completely. Junkowl has a way of keeping you off balance in your expectations – you cannot anticipate what the song is going to do next, and by extension, where the album is going. You just have to hold and go with it. “Crawling Up My Feet” is a stand-out track for me for the steadfastness of its rhythm running against the vocal parts which range from calm to hysterical. Another one to look for is the crowd pleaser, “10,000 Vultures,” memorable for so many reasons including its earnest bleakness. Overall this album exceeds my expectations. I liked Junkowl the first time I heard them play, and I am bigger fan now. Recommended.
You can get Making Out With My Death now from your favorite digital retailer. Give it a listen and consider buying a download. We have to support the music we like.
Band photo by Alexandre Guay.