Reviews for Flores de Sangre...
A few years ago, GREATDAYFORUP have been on a split-CD with Solace, and now they return with this, their first full-length and debut album for Small Stone Records. I'm not sure, if the split release is the reason, but GREATDAYFORUP pay much homage to Solace in their heavy powerful sound and intelligent structuring while never aping them. Like the band from New Jersey they also draw influences from Hardcore, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal and Hard Rock so that their songs bear surprising turns, a cavalcade of breaks and stops, while other tracks are more straightforward. A few of the songs will remind the listener to bands like Floodgate, Sunnshine and Only Living Witness but GREATDAYFORUP stand always on their own heavy feet. 'Flores De Sangre' very effectively blends melody, virtuosity and aggression, while the vocals follow the same musical path. There's no denying how much fun this is to listen to, although the vocals are the weakest part of GREATDAYFORUP, but they definitely don't ruin the album. Overall this is a superb debut effort from a band that hopefully is destined for more bigger things in the future and once again Mike Saputo is responsible for the extremely tasteful artwork of 'Flores De Sangre'. How sad, that they split-up!
-KKMarch 1st, 2008www.cosmiclava.com
When one thinks of music from the state of New York, a number of genres jump into mind, from East Coast rap, to funk, to jazz, to straight up rock. One genre that doesnĂt immediately spring to mind is down and dirty sludge-ridden stoner rock/metal. Still, Albany N.Y. is the birthing ground for the five raucous fellows that make up Greatdayforup. Formed in 1999, the band has been earning their dues, pounding stage boards with the likes of Scissorfight, Yakuza, and Superjoint Ritual and releasing a few splits and a full-length (GOD LOVES A SINNER).
Now that the band has caught the ear of the notorious stoner rock haven, Small Stone Records, Greatdayforup is ready to take the next step. If FLORES DE SANGRE is any indication, this band is going to be smashing ear drums for many a year. With an overdriven, fuzz-ball sound, the crunchy ˘Sinner Takes All÷ serves as the rally cry. Featuring the rough Šn ready vocals of Mike Lagone, this initial introduction to this filthy shitstorm of a record wastes no time in getting the blood pumping. Over the course of the next 50+ minutes, Greatdayforup weaves a thick, jungle tapestry of insidious riffage. Indeed, the band proves they have studied their forerunners, mixing up things beautifully. Witness the fearsome doom of ˘To the Limit÷, which is quickly followed up with the (relatively) clean and melodic ˘Check This Out÷. The latter song also features an excellent, extended guitar solo to close it out.
If you push deeper into the record, youĂll find even more bittersweet ear candy, ranging from straight up fuzz rock to slightly progressive drone-doom. Needless to say ű this is one crazy ride! There are missteps along the way, and ending with an extended atmospheric piece of nothing was unnecessary, but overall, FLORES DE SANGRE is one hell of an adventure.
One other thing ű from the cover art on down through the riffs and sounds, this is one of the creepiest albums IĂve heard in some time. It seems that no matter what sound the band is going for, there is always an overarching menace to the album. Very weird, but very cool.
Taking their name from a Dr. Seuss book, Albany, New YorkĂs Greatdayforup are all about the groove: the mammoth stoner grooves that countless bands have harnessed (with varying degrees of success) since Kyuss first plugged in their amps in 1990.
After a 2002 transitional LP, an EP on Curve of the Earth Records, and a 2004 split with New Jersey powerhouse Solace, the band¨starring former Handsome (mid-Ă90s Helmet spin-off) guitarist Mike Vitali¨hunkered down at New Alliance in Boston to record their Small Stone debut. Mixed by Monster Magnet/Raging Slab drummer Bob Pantella, Flores De Sangre leans more toward the Beantown vibe of old Milligram and Quintaine Americana than the usual punked-out stoner rock. Opener ˘Sinner Takes All÷ sounds like a revved-up reunion of SeattleĂs 10 Minute Warning, former haven for G NĂR axeslinger Duff McKagan, as does ˘Taste of the Wasted,÷ replete with cowbell (though never enough!). ˘Another Lesson÷ could be a more stoner-minded Penance, with drummer/vocalist Mike Langone crooning like a demon. Actually, the syrupy ˘To the Limit÷ is the first song not to be dominated by LangoneĂs incredible pipes. He switches to Josh HommeĂs gravelly-mumble mode for the very Queens of the Stone Age-ish ˘Check This Out,÷ and ˘ManĂs Ruin÷ (a possible homage to Frank KozikĂs sadly missed record label) rolls over riffs like a boozed-up Alabama Thunderpussy. The guitar crunch in ˘Twist of the Spine÷ resembles Roadsaw covering post-hardcore mavens Shift, while the doomy ˘Rise÷ and ˘Turn it Off÷ apply the brakes with near-slurred vocals like Langone inhaled a couple of paper bags filled with TestorĂs model glue. The frenetic ˘Deme Su Coolo÷ adds a deathy vox, and ˘Wish I Was Gone÷ creeps along like muscular Soundgarden. Closing the album is the title track, a curious mix of muffled piano, toy telephone bell, and shaker that might fit better on a Mandible Chatter album.
A cut above the usual Underdogma/Traktor 7 label output, Flores De Sangre is a supercharged album and a shining jewel in Small StoneĂs expanding crown.
Chris AyersApril 5th, 2006www.digitalmetal.com
This is some heavy duty stuff played by what sounds like some mean mother fuckers from Albany, NY. The singer has a great range of emotion in his vocal delivery and this adds a lot to the music. The band have clearly listened to some hardcore but this is more straight up "mean rock". I don't know what else to call it. It ain't stoner rock, it ain't punk rock, it ain't heavy metal. Just go for the throat 23 hours a day balls out mean rock. Give it a try if you can stand it. Oh yeah, cool artwork as well.
Scott HellerMarch 2006www.aural-innovations.com
Super-heavy groove/riff-oriented stoner rock. Great artwork completes the package. Turn this up loud and get your face melted.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
ScottMarch 28th, 2006\r\nwww.addreviews.com
Daredevil Magazine (Germany)
Wow, I never thought of something like this when I received this CD...this is energy banned on CD...the first time I listened to Greatdayforup was on the split with Solace (Underdogma Records) and I thought that this is pretty heavy stuff, but that time I never thought of something like "Flores De Sangre"...Greatdayforup seems to have found their very own sound which is heavy played rawk in the vein of Dozer, Lowrider and Unida with real energetic and emotional vocals. This album really has everything a good album needs...a lot of catchy and remindable songs...a real fat and unique sound...variety...power etc....to keep it short...no fillers-just killers....must-have for Stoners all over the planet!!!
As oppressive as a facehugger and just as cinematic, the latest two-ton pressure drop from BostonĂs own suneaters Great Day for Up rolls along like a 70Ăs splatter flick shot in the baking hot deep south, a relentless stalk and slash of booming doom-rock and mudslide dope nĂ roll. Tracks like the sneering ˘Another Lesson÷ and the super-stoner ˘ManĂs Ruin÷ roll out like hot, steaming gutpiles, cut fresh from a still-twitching carcass by some fur-covered fucker named Moondog in his make-shift doublewide slaughterhouse. I suppose Chicago misery-metal legends Trouble had a lot to do with the making of this record, but GDFU sure ainĂt running to no light here. Nope, our hometown brawlers are in it strictly for the thrill-kill and the long, lingering looks of horror as the last hope for help blinks out on the horizon. The Evil Dead homage on the cover says it all, Ash. Mess with GDFU, and you will most definitely by dead by dawn.
KMMarch 6th, 2006www.sleazegrinder.com
My previous party line aboutĂm was GDFU hit like what I wanted Danzigs metal move to punch in like when he creepy-crawled the metal hordes. Lets up date that a Tad. This is a wide bellied gut punch hard rock record born of kick ass alt./punk listening habits jammed into quality metals ˘thing÷. Shit- the Testament, Metallica, Anthrax stuff registered with a lot more than ˘pure÷ metal heads. Really, itĂs not hard to put it on FloresÓ and tell your new girl you saw these guys, ˘oh dozens of times playing with my friends Soundgarden÷. They really coulda fit there. Hell, your gonna lie to her anyways, you might as well lie about something cool. Or if you wanna lie about something that did happen say you sawĂm with the band they split an ep (and some creative DNA) with, Solace.
One of my in-the-know Boston contacts, code: ARZ., tags these guys with a heavy dose of, well IĂll quoteĂm- ˘(GDFU)Ó are still doing their own take on the modern hard rock of the Only Living Witness/ Roadsaw/ We're All Gonna Die variety, with the slight punchy quality of Helmet circa Betty.÷ If weĂre gonna talk Boston these guys from Albany mayĂve seen Bullet La Volta and other Taang! Record worthies who ignored the punk/metal divide when you could still get stomped for having the wrong hair length. BUT these guys popped this out on Small Stone who pretty much lasso quality ˘Stoner Rock÷ whenever they throw out a rope. GDFU got that warm thumpity, thump deep-dish groove, clear singing and sonic/structural referencing to Kyuss; (jumping off point for QOTSAĂs Josh Holmes), Sleep; (launch pad of High On Fire), BlackĂs Flag (who begat Henry Rollins), and Sabbath, (who made a couple rockinĂ slabs w/Ronnie James Dio- after they constructed a large part of the known universe on their first four records), and Monster Magnets ˘Dope, Guns and Fucking with the Freaks÷ black light acid burn.
As a sensible man I mention these facts as they concur with GDFUĂs parameters. Powerful playing, a full on recording, varied well-developed songs and a strong label should give these guys the opportunity to dent a few skulls outside of the faithful. As much as I like the earlier stuff, esp. the song, ˘August 1979÷, from the Solace split, IĂd say this is the one to get. Goes well with: Solace, Soundgarden, Karma To Burn, Deftones, Clutch, and Orange Goblin.
Craig RegalaMarch 1st, 2006www.lollipopmagazine.com
Have you ever seen a heroin addict alternating swigs from a cough syrup bottle with bouts of fierce air guitar? Not the most common of sites I'll grant you, but if you've seen such a thing chances are that Greatdayforup was blasting through his ear buds. This is a super-solid group, bridging the stoner/doom sound with more traditional metal moves through a framework of sledgehammer riffing that could only be found in America's northeast; you won't hear sounds like this emanating from Georgia, Sweden, or anywhere else.
Although the group is from Albany, New York they seem to be more plugged into the Massachusetts metal underground as represented by groups like Milligram, Only Living Witness, or Roadsaw. If you want to extend the northeastern sound out to Ohio and New Jersey, then add Rebreather and Solace into the mix; hell, how about the Stooges and Bongzilla? This is post-hardcore, cough syrup and opiates riff metal, yet despite what these things do to their typically disheveled users, the music itself is tight, dynamic, melodic and clear, seeming to sketch out a weird parallel world where hallucination and reality are fatally intertwined in a hermetic urban landscape. The incredibly heavy riffs provide the framework, but the vocals - dissipated, abstracted, mysterious - lead the listener into their own, strangely addicting universe. Mike Langone has the makings of a great singer, equally at home with a syrup-smooth delivery or a lung-vomiting scream, and this recently reconstructed version of the group is worthy of him in every way. Man, I just love those restrained little guitar solos!
I liked Greatdayforup's first LP, 'Godlovesasinner,' OK, and liked their split with Solace a great deal more. In fact, I thought they held the musical edge over New Jersey's finest. Keep in mind that this is from one of the world's foremost Solace fanatics! 'Flores de Sangre' ('Blood Flowers') is a good deal better than either of the group's earlier releases. In typical fashion, Small Stone seems to have coaxed the best out of the group. Wrap it up with another cool Mike Saputo painting,and you've got superb value for your hard rock/metal dollar. These guys are definitely on their own strange, heavy-as-hell program, and I hope this lineup sticks around long enough for another installment.
Kevin McHughMarch 2nd, 2006ww.hellridemusic.com
The Cutting Edge
Flores De Sangre is considered the first "real" full-length release from this Albany, NY stoner/doom outfit following their split EP with Jersey's Solace (2005). This is one HEAVY record. Right from the start "Sinner Takes All" blows the speakers with a massive wail and chest-beating bass drum. Lead singer Mark Langone actually gets carried away in the mix as the shear volume rolls over the top of his vocals. The relentless barrage keeps pace, cowbell in hand, through "Taste of the Wasteland" but by "Another Lesson" a bit of the desert vibe comes through in guitarist Mike Vitali's wa-wa. Dueling it out with second guitarist Jay Sunkes, Vitali can embrace the layered harmonies in "Twist of the Spine" or accentuate the brutal velocity of "Deme Su Coolo." Not bad for a kid who gained his chops and notoriety from his stint in Helmet.
Bassist Brendan Slater is like a dog unleashed. His solo intro alone in "Man' Ruin" is enough to put the average human being in traction for a week. Supporting, lifting and pairing with Vitali and Sunkes, Slater punishes all contenders for his space. Exciting for the listener is the completion between metal and stoner/doom. A chugging "Three Card," the Nine-Inch Nail-esque "To the Limit" and "Wish I was Gone" have the slow, sludgy lumber but riff it up with meat and potatoes metal. Drink in the lyrics and you'll find the sound somewhere between Pink Floyd and Motorhead. The haunting title track, "Floes De Sangre" closes the record with a muffled piano interlude pushing even further a prog vibe - almost like Opeth but darker and hairier.
Todd K SmithFebruary 27th, 2006www.thecutting-edge.net
Flowers of blood. Yes, that's what this is. Tough tunes from some tough men. From Albany, (with a boost from Boston) an area of New York state known for their hardcore bands, and you can hear that intensity in GREATDAYFORUP's music, in the way they take a riff or a fiercely powerful hook and beat the shit of it with such enormity and authority that it's practically stamped into your brain. Every track here is hard and mean, not as in evil, but in terms of it's downright brutal, straight to the point punch, like a sharpened musical blade able to cut lethally deep. As powerful and huge as this sounds, there's absolutely no wasted energy or frivolous fretwork. Focused and fierce. Every note has a distinct purpose and place, and every heavily muscled melody hammers you into a willing, adrenaline soaked submission. This band really caught my ear with the Underdogma split with Solace, and this follow-up full length CD continues to impress. These guys can flat out play, and their vocalist has the perfect voice to complement such crushing heaviness. No screaming for screaming's sake here. No, here we are treated to a throaty, smoky, liquor-laced vocal sound and character that's distinctive and powerful, in tune, tuned in, and perfect. Fucking love this guy's voice, and the lyrics and tone come through growlingly great in this mix. His voice stands strong surrounded by ass kicking musicians roaring down the scale like a stoned Sabbath or early Zeppelin sped up with just the right touch of that hardcore background mentioned earlier. Small Stone has cut another gemstone of guts and glory with this CD, one that mixes all the right elements of stoner, doom, hardcore, hard rock, and heavy, focused fury. Great CD from GREATDAYFORUP.
Glenn TillmanFebruary 25th, 2006www.tangerinemagazine.com
Daredevil Records (Germany)
This is one of the CDs IĂve been waiting for since months. After a great debut EP and the mighty, unbelievable heavy split CD with Solace, I counted the days before I get their first full length CD. And now it is the day and it is a disappointment. DonĂt understand me wrong, FLORES DE SANGRE is a good record, but not that what I expected. The biggest problem is the sound, which is heavy and deep tuned, but washed out and dump. And the vocals: I really put Mike in the past into my top ten with singers like the Disengage, Solace or Only living witness singer. But here too many effects are on the vocals and put away the magic voice from Mike. SINNER TAKES ALL is a short and dirty opener, but with TASTE OF THE WASTED they show their class with a mighty ending riff! And ANOTHER LESSON could be one of the bands highlight, but here you will feel it on the best way that the sludgy sound and the voice full of effects destroy a masterpiece. Too sad! TO THE LIMIT, a slow and heavy Doom Rock smasher is the first track who really works. Here the vocal fits perfect and the screamed chorus is awesome. More in the Eye Hate God direction, but great track. CHECK THIS OUT is the worst GDFU track so far and MAN`S RUIN is only a little bit better. TWIST OF THE SPINE is again a great track. The guitars produce great ideas and rock like hell. Sounding progressive and complex! Really great! 8 minute doomer RISE is another great track and there the vocals fits again with this muddy effect. THREE CARD is again a boring track before WISH I WAS GONE ends this debut with a great song. All in all a EP would be better. Sorry brothers, but maybe I expected too muchÓ. The artwork is awesome and maybe I need more as 20 running to like this releaseÓI will give them the chanceÓ.
Info: 12 songs / 57 minutes
JochenFebruary 15, 2006www.daredevilrecords.de
Dense, dense, dense. This doom-informed stoner rock band cranks out some badass thickness. Where many stoner bands utilize crunched out, muscular grooves on the guitar and drum side and juxtapose them with often startlingly light (but effective) vocals atop the mix, this band takes those vocals and runs them through a bit of fuzz, adding density to that angle of the sound, as well. The musical result is sort of a big, fat pyramid of stoned out hard rock, sure to inspire a few rolled blunts.
Upchuck UndergrindFebruary 9th, 2006www.fishcomcollective.net
Stoner meets southern rock i.e. gibsonite bong-boogie!
A band whose enigmatic moniker shields a gnarly rock simplicity, GDFUĂs dynamic bong boogie is an exhilarating rush. A glutinous, heady dollop of corpulent, Gibsonite grooves and propulsive songsmithery, making their debut on highly-regarded indie-label, Smallstone Records a welcome addition to an already burgeoning roster of locomotive Rock 'n Roll...
Greatdayforup - Flores De Sangre Greatdayforup forgo any needless pretension and assaults the listener with a protean ability to rock out, letting loose a heap o'righteously bruising boogie fruggage, with riffs fatter an' slicker than a sacrificial pig... TASTY! So what dost thou get for your hard-earned folding...? Barstool-greasy, Sabbathoid, muscle rock that should enliven even the most jaded, biker blooze fanatic...
The band concoct a fabulously furry, resinous, refried 70Ăs rawk that injects plenty of elephant steroid onto it's lithe Foghat / Toad torso, "Flores de sangre' scorches the ear canals with a debilitating Rebreather / Throttlerod attack, where honeyed, melodic vocals segue into arena-rock screech an' wail, all the while GreatdayforupĂs piston-hard, rhythm section forcibly thrusts the red-eyed, head swirling, beer sodden listener into exultant riff rock utopia!!!
Production is suitably beefy, dragging out compulsive, mammoth, unctuous guitar tones with the devastating alacrity of a whalers harpoon... Stoner rock is dead... long live stoner rock!
jasonJanuary 31st, 2006www.roadburn.com
Albany, New York, is apparently a rock & roll town, at least as far as Greatdayforup is concerned. The five-piece rocks its heavy tunes into the ground on Flores de Sangre, its warms tones balanced by balls-out aggression. A mastery of grunge-fried riffs and dinosaur stomp rhythms, as well as Mike Lorgone's charismatic vocals, elevate Greatdayforup above the swampy morass of most stoner rock. Get your air guitars ready.
Michael TolandJanuary 29th, 2006www.highbias.com
If there's a handbook on how to be a successful band, I'm sure there's a part in it that says you shouldn't replace more than half the band before the release of your sophomore album. If there is such a thing, Albany, New York's Greatdayforup obviously didn't read it, as the band that recorded Flores de Sangre, their second full length and debut for Small Stone Records, isnĂt the same one slogging it out in the clubs right now.
Whatever the reasons that led to the departures of (in order) bassist David Lahaie, guitarist Jay Sunkes, and drummer Jared Krak, they should take solace in the fact that they left a memorable last impression. Flores de Sangre is a hell of an album, one thatĂs at least two or three steps above God Loves a Sinner. The band ű led by singer Mike Langone and guitarist Mike Vitali ű are still doing their own take on the modern hard rock of the Only Living Witness/ Roadsaw variety, with the slight punchy quality of Helmet circa Betty. The difference is that they're doing it much better.
The first three songs ű "Sinner Tales All," "Taste of the Wasted," and "Another Lesson" literally leap out at you. "Sinner" and "Lesson" in particular deserve note, just for doing the rock at a faster, more aggressive pace than their contemporaries. ItĂs got groove and aggression, making for an angry head banging, happy foot tapping slab of beefy rock. It's as if they picked up a pointer or two from Jersey burnouts Solace when the two released their split last year. I'd throw "Deme Su Coolo" on to that list as well, except that thereĂs an awkward dual guitar lead intro to the solo that's jarring for all the wrong reasons.
Elsewhere on the album, they slow down the pace for some more riff-heavy songs (and on the title track, a somber piano piece). They're good ű in particular "ManĂs Ruin" and "R.I.S.E." - and further flesh out the band's sound. And they play what IĂm assuming is an unintentional homage to fellow Small Stone artists Halfway to Gone with their "Turnpike" worthy "Wish I Was Gone."
It's a shame that the band had to lose as many members as they did, but if it keeps them moving forward, then it's for the best. They're one of those bands that stands a chance of making a favorable impression on the masses. If you haven't heard them, Flores de Sangre is a good place to start.
John PegoraroNovember, 2005StonerRock.com
Greatdayforup's full-length debut is a guitar album, which may seem like a redundant assertion to make about any heavy rock disc, but in this case the evidence is simply overwhelming -- overwhelming a very capable singer in Mike Langone, overwhelming the band's sturdy rhythm section, and even overwhelming the songs themselves on occasion, making them feel like a secondary function of Mike Vitali and Jay Sunkes' domineering six-strings. This is the sound of riffs upon riffs, compacted into layers so dense and sludgy they could level city blocks (think Red Giant's riff mastery matched to Bongzilla's crushing grooves), yet, still, it usually works. First highlight "Taste the Wasted" sets the tone by marrying sledgehammer heavy metal riffs, ululating Queens of the Stone Age-type vocals, and plonking cowbells driving at high speeds; "Another Lesson," "Man's Ruin" (no apparent reference to the famed and doomed stoner rock label), and "Deme Su Coolo" alternate periods of galloping fury with jolting staggers and stutters; and "To the Limit," "Rise," and "Three Card" frequent generally slower time zones (not quite doom, but close) while retaining a menacing intensity. Not as successful, the funkier-riffed "Check This Out" and "Twist of the Spine" get a little lost rocking in circles, the turgid "Wish I Was Gone" brings to mind some of the weaker efforts by labelmates Halfway to Gone, and the instrumental title track's muddy piano lines offer only the curiosity of sounding as though they were recorded from inside the piano. All things considered, Flores de Sangre still makes a pretty strong impression for a debut album, but it'd be nice to hear the guitarists share the wealth some more on the next go-round.
Ed RivadaviaNovember, 2005allmusic.com