Before I ever heard even a single note from Scotland’s Party Cannon, I loved their shtick. With their Toys ‘R’ Us-esque logo and song titles like “There’s a Reason You’re Single” and “Tyrone, You Put that Sugar Down,” everything about them seemed to fly in the face of slam’s established gore-drenched norms, and it was refreshing to see a band poking fun at the genre from within. One might argue that this approach could cause them to be labelled a “joke band,” but it only takes a few listens to Party Cannon’s debut EP Partied in Half to know that these Scotsmen are dead serious about their slam.
Indeed, Party Cannon play slam in its purest form; no-frills, straightforward brutality. Their tone isn’t quite as crushing as what’s currently coming out of Russia and Japan, but there is nonetheless plenty of neck-wrecking heaviness afoot, and the guys definitely know a thing or two about writing quality slams, because they’re all over the place here. They also do little things to differentiate themselves from the brutal masses, such as mixing in some higher-pitched rasping vocals amidst the gutturals throughout the album and even throwing in an extended guitar solo and acoustic outro on the EP-closing highlight “Battle of the Spidermen!”.
The production is exactly what you’d expect from a slam recording, although it should be noted that Party Cannon do make sure to always keep the guitars at the forefront; I’ve heard a lot of brutal death metal where the vocals and drums overwhelm the riffage, but the band easily avoids that trap on Partied in Half with a balanced mix. The recording quality and performances are both spot on, but I have to admit I was mildly disappointed when I discovered the lyrics are pretty much your typical slam lyrics; I really did expect them to be about partying. This minor gripe aside, Partied in Half is a well-done slab of slam on all fronts.
Party Cannon have a fun little EP on their hands with Partied in Half; if they can continue to develop and expand upon their idiosyncrasies, they’ll likely become one of the top bands on the Gore House roster whenever they get around to releasing a full-length, up there with Stages of Decomposition and Swine Overlord. Definitely a band to watch for those that are so inclined.