“On the Bleeding Edge” borrows some elements from Christian rock, with lyrics so poignant and poetic they require a second and a third listening. The harmonized vocals in “The Zoo” intertwine with the sounds of the seagulls, heavy guitars, rolling drum, and bass beats always come at a later time, revealing more than they intend to. The “3 Piece Suite” is a masterpiece in disguise, an Animal Kingdom meets The Avalanches intro, with a guitar that sounds from the realms of Joe Satriani and Buckethead midriff, and ending in a nuanced, tactical hard rock sound with Zappa-like vocals and influences starting from Bowie to The Doors. The titular track “Child of Dirt” is scary in its Fields of Innocence-like children’s playground atmosphere, all the while adding to the grim reality of the autobiographical nature of the album.
Shaven Primates don’t shy away from the dark and the menacing. Their experience outweighs their ability to distance themselves as artists from their art. The result is Child of Dirt, an emotional highlight with some stylistic shifts that take the breath away. Although it sounds like a beginning, it feels like a resurrection of the artist in hibernation, not by any means a caesarian.