Full Album Stream: Great Falls – “Objects Without Pain”

Photo: Soren Hixenbaugh

We’ve covered Seattle noise rock/post-hardcore crew Great Falls a bunch of times in the past and not just because longtime Decibel contributor Shane Mehling plays bass (plus members of Kiss It Goodbye, Undertow, Playing Enemy, et al) in the band. No, Great Falls play genuinely great and demoralizing tunes that are bleak, discordant and leave you feeling worse than when you put the album on.

On their new album, Objects Without Pain, Great Falls considered the perspective of a person considering ruining their own life. Can you abandon your own life and start a new one? Will that fuck up your loved ones? Does it matter?

We don’t have the answers to questions like that, and neither do the members of Great Falls. What we do have is a full stream of Objects Without Pain, plus a track-by-track breakdown written by the band for maximum demoralization. Objects Without Pain is officially out on Friday, September 16 and is available for pre-order via Bandcamp and Neurot Recordings’ website.

Dragged Home Alive
This was a Frankensteined song for a long time, a bunch of random riffs sort of stitched together. It was more like a sketch to out peaks and valleys of where the song could go but we were missing whole sections for months before we started actually piecing it together. We kept pushing it forward, assuming it just wouldn’t work, but then it ended up decent enough to be the first song on the album.

Trap Feeding
The middle of this song took forever. The guitar hitting on a different beat each round ended up being a much more modest version of what we initially tried, which was this round robin thing that is boring to describe and even worse to listen to. What we finally settled on also took a long time to get right or even understand what “right” was supposed to sound like.

Born As An Argument
Lyrically, Demian was trying to write a song about how happy his family would be without him. He wanted to channel his sadness and frustration about his relationship into an idea that once he’s gone it will all be okay and he’ll be remembered fondly.

Old Words Worn Thin
The beginning of this song was the ending of another one for a long time; we were even playing it live for a while. It was initially the ending because it felt pretty heavy, but there are a couple times on this record where we tried to take what feels like an ending riff and stick it at the top, then try to write our ways out of that corner… with varying levels of success.

Spill Into The Aisle
And this was the song we pilfered from “Old Words Worn Thin.” This sounded like a hundred different things before we figured out what worked, with the only constant being that it just kept getting sadder. Demian playing a genuine guitar solo was really out of his comfort zone, but engineer extraordinaire and solo aficionado Scott Evans helped him strip out a lot of the nonsense and get to what meant the most, which, again, was the sadness.

Ceilings Inch Closer
This is the oldest song on the record, the only one that made it through the pandemic intact. During our first practice with Nick, when he was still just going to be a temporary drummer, this was what he wanted to start with and immediately he brought this whole new dynamic which was exactly what we were hoping for. By the time we got through the whole song we knew he had to stay in the band.

The Starveling
Right now Demian is raising a teenager. He does his best to be a good role model when it comes to what an adult should be, but he’s a mess. He worries constantly about her well-being and her ability to make good choices. In the context of this record, he doesn’t feel like he’s ever done enough or been enough to ensure that will happen.

Thrown Against The Waves
We were set on this being the last song but weren’t sure how we wanted to end it. We tried a lot of different approaches and they all seemed cool in discussion but all completely failed in practice. We ended up with what we consider to be the most logical way to end the song, and the most satisfying. It’s actually the best choice in every way so we wish we’d just done it sooner.

You can also see Great Falls on tour:
10/05/2023 The Lost Horizon – Syracuse, NY
10/06/2023 Cherry St. Station – Wallingford, CT
10/07/2023 DNB Burgers – New Bedford, MA
10/08/2023 Revival Brewing – Providence, RI
10/09/2023 O’Brien’s – Allston, MA
10/10/2023 Thrive Outdoors – Manchester, NH
10/11/2023 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY
10/12/2023 Meat Locker – Montclair, NJ
10/13/2023 Silk City – Philadelphia, PA
10/14/2023 Pie Shop – Washington, DC
10/15/2023 Ipanema Café – Richmond, VA