Gaytheist’s greatest gift is making the most of two minutes. The mixture of a thrashing guitar complete with crunchy riffs and heavy bass under Jason Rivera’s tenor wail leads to quick satisfaction on almost every song. The Portland trio takes the fun and brevity of The Minutemen and sharpens it with the voracious post-hardcore of Glassjaw, but the sum of this comparison is greater than its parts.
Hold Me...But Not So Tight, released in 2013, is the fourth release in the band’s consistent sounding catalog. Not much changed since 2012’s Stealth Beats, and that’s a good thing—anything but raw rock would feel watered down. The band sets itself apart with a focus on treble found in the crashing cymbals and vocals, avoiding any sludge that might slow the bullet train of sound. Unlike similar noise-y acts, the lyrics are discernible, which is especially rewarding on the consumerism-bashing “60 Easy Payments” and the silly “Poocano” where Rivera sings, “Let’s rip off the mountaintops and defecate down the holes, wait until it erupts across the United States.” It’s not hard to hold anyone’s attention with such short songs, but even so, Gaytheist bridges punk and metal with the kind of ease that makes you want more, not less.
Gaytheist plays Total Fest Sat., Aug. 16, at the Palace with Wolf Eyes, Chastity Belt, Omotai and more. Doors at 7:30. $20/$55 full three-day pass. Visit totalfest.org for schedule and tickets.