GNAW. Press

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GNAW in Indiana

GNAW Indiana Pics


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GNAW Press

CHOMP 'N' ROLL: GNAW GAINS MORE CONFIDENCE AS TRIO by Dawn Scire Sarasota Herald-Tribune April 14 2006

Certain types of music simply sound better with more than two instruments.. Take extreme genres like heavy metal and hard-core rock. Pieces could be stripped to beats with bare melodies, but that would become boring without tremendous dexterity and near genius compositions. The Tampa-area ensemble Gnaw did it well for the first few of its eight years, but guitarist and principal songwriter Josh Sumley wouldn't repeat it.. "I would never go back to two. It's so much easier with Rob. {Wolfe, Gnaw's bassist). Plus, people just pay so much more attention; you just totally command the room now," he said of the trio, rhythmically rooted by drummer Michael Lewis. "It's good to know you have that kind of confidence behind your sound. You don't have to worry about anything else." Sumley, who goes by his 1st name professionally, formed GNAW in 1997 with Lewis (known only by his last name). They played thier 1st official gig together the following year. And with or without a low end, its sound is chunky, meaty and grungy yet sharply melodic. Lyrics and song titles are toungue in cheek: for example, older tuned like "NOLIFEDOTCOM" about computer life and "WASTE AWAY" its ode to the anorexic." "We have a serious message to us but we dont want to maintain where we're so seriuos you can't enjoy yourself," Sumley said. "We've gotten heavier, and we've gotten more mellow in some cases too. Every one of our old songs are like children to us, and it's cool how you can have your "kids" together- you can have your newborns with the 8 year olds you know what i mean? It still blends." As a duo, GNAW performed extensively around Southwest and Central Florida, very often Sarasota. It once partnered with locals SUDDEN DEATH for a Midwest tour. Thereafter it hired a bass player, and then cycled through 2 more before finding its favorite in Wolfe. "He actually helped engineer our 1st little demo," Sumley said. "So , he's always been with the band in some form or another, so it was only natural for him to jump in on bass with us." Following the revolving bass-member-go-round, the nightclub scene in Tampa started steadily diminishing, ending with the trio's "low point" last year where it played only a handful of dates, lying low but still writing music. It's 3rd cd, "The Color of DARK," is relatively new, yet recording for the 4th, an EP begins next month. It's name? "CITY OF DECAY" "We wanna say how we feel about Tampa right now, because the whole city, the whole scene has decayed into nothing up here," Sumley said. But they sure enjoy Sarasota. "We're just like, "Man we wanna play Clubhouse Tavern forever.' "We'll not forever... I'd rather play there every other month than play a bunch of crappy gigs here in Tampa. At least down there, people give you love, they put your name up on the marquee: you feel like a band!" Coupled with an energizing Clubhouse Tavern performance last month and a recent entry onto, GNAW is making new connections and with that new possibilities.


GNAW is one of those bands you immediately form strong opinions about. Being that they don't really sound like any other band in the Tampa Bay area, they dont get lost in the shuffle of bands that share a similar sound, thus GNAW sticks out and forces you to mold an opinion about thier sound. THE COLOR OF DARK is GNAW's 3rd release. They chose to record it at The Coop. Salvatore Monella mixed and mastered the recordings, and in my opinion did a splendid job of capturing GNAW's live sound. The cd is raw, but not sloppy. It contains just enough production to where it doesn't cross over to a sterile sounding mix. THE COLOR OF DARK seems to have two major sounds. Intentional or not, I picked up on a nirvana vibe going on. Check out cuts DROWN,CUTTING, and D-TOX, and various sections of many songs throughout the CD. The second dominant sound I picked up on is the chunk thing. That medium paced, angry, dark and gloomy grind that is usually pumped out in less than 2:30. Just when you think you have the entire cd figured out, GNAW puts on a suprise. On the very last track (14) SHE'S KILLING ME which isn't even listed on the CD, They bust out in this really melodic number. It's this radio friendly, feel good number with jangly guitar riffs. The song is quite melodic and Josh is actually nicely singing on it. All in all I give the CD a solid feel. Not my type of music, but never the less a quality CD. Good riffage, good hooks with melodic lines.


96 out of 100

At last, 36 months later, Gnaw has finally released their second full-length album, The Color of Dark. This is also Gnaws first album with a bassist. For those unfamiliar with Gnaw, they are a trio from Tampa, Florida, who sing grim-reality metal. They have had one 7 track album entitled Sick Songs, and a 12 track album In the Trap. Now, The Color of Dark has arrived.
The albums first lyrics show the anger that lead singer/guitarist Josh has experienced throughout the years from being harassed by critics. The first lyrics are "Everyones a critic can't you see/ I'm not what you make me out to be", from the song Slag. Cutting, although a slow song, is great, and conveys a deep message about the sick practice of mutilation. "Cutting, up your life, knowing it's not right." Cutting and D-Tox have the strongest reality issues. D-Tox is a song about drug addiction, and the growing reliance of drugs. It seems like a continuation of Greenspeed off In the Trap. Shifting Sands that has a Middle Eastern rhythm to it. It is a very simple song and gets right to the point. "Why bin Laden/Lie bin Laden/Die bin laden." The angriest song is by far Forcefeed which is about how the media force feeds us into playing what they want to hear. There is a nifty little bonus track after Tango of Death called She's Killing Me which sounds like a Matchbox 20 song, but still has a great beat to it. I like each track of The Color of Dark, but my least favorite is Stitches, because it is a mere 98 seconds. There is too much punk influence in that song, and does not fit well in such a great sounding CD. It is followed by Gothoholic, one of the hardest tracks on the album. It is about the gothic scene near the Masquerade area in Tampa. I have two favorite tracks, Drown and Evil Me. Drown is a deep song, that most people can relate to. It is about the need of parents to pay more attention to their children without stripping the kid of pride by putting the blame on the kid when the parent is really at fault. Evil Me is the longest track on The Color of Dark, it starts out with a rough guitar intro and goes into a melodic rhythm. The lyrics include "You thought you knew what I was all about, now you can see evil me creeping out/ Play with fire you will burn/ When you see evil me you will run." An interesting track is God of Nothing, which is about people who take power trips and think they are the God of everything, when in reality, they are the God of nothing. The catchiest song is -D-Tox. It has very serious lyrics about drug addiction, but has a catchy tune to it. So Vile is basically a song about Earth and the way it is. It is about the people in the world who are vile such as woman beaters, bad parents, and the negative things and people in the world. All this leads up to the last words of The Color of Dark, "I can carry on!" I highly recommend this album, it is well worth the small price of ten dollars. Visit the merchandise section of for details on how to buy it, your money will surely not be wasted. For a quick preview of tracks, download the clips at


Just close your eyes and listen to the music, GNAW is dripping with darkness, anger, hatred and sarcasm. All the necessary ingredients for metal.


We got to see this 3 piece act over at the Brass Mug and it was a great show. GNAW is a heavy act, hard beats with throbbing guitar/bass. They come across as a metal act at first glance. But the music is far too heavy for that. If you can think back to early Melvins or Big Black you might be right on track with how these guys sound The 12 song CD is a good listen, my favorite tracks being "ARACHNID" and "STEELJAWBREAKER". Josh the lead vocalist and band front man has a decent voice with lyrics that are gruff but understandable. I would say check these guys out if you get the chance to.


Sitting there I was casually looking around the club and i noticed some tall lanky dude in glasses. Judging by his looks, I was thinking he was about to whip out a lap top and pull up directories looking for information to hack into. Little did I know that dude was Josh from one of Tampa's local metal bands called GNAW. I actually saw GNAW once before. It was Josh on guitar and vocals and Lewis on drums. When the two of them hit the stage i was thinking to myself: "Where is the bass player? Car broke down? Got sudden amnesia and forgot the songs? Kidnapped by a passing UFO?" No, at that time GNAW was a massive two piece ensemble. Instead of a power trio, they were a two man tag team. Even for a two piece they sounded good. But now the GNAW family has grown! They accquired bassist Jen. For some reason looks wise Jen reminds me of Debra Harry from Blondie. Anyway, the addition of Jen to the line up greatly improved the overall sound and fullness to GNAW. I saw the new GNAW line up on Sunday April 7th at the Brass Mug. They opened up with "WASTE AWAY". From the start i noticed how much fuller thier sound was. A few songs later they went into "SUICIDE BY COP". I liked the tempo changes in that song. After that they played "BLEED FOR MERCY". That song has a cool staccato rhythm to it. One of my favorite songs of the night was "BITTER". A great song! They followed that song up with "CUTTING" which was cool because it was different than their previous songs. "CUTTING" went from clean arpeggiated chords into a crunchy rhythm. I thought that song was put together well and had good dynamics. "ARACHNID" followed. I would say that was my favorite song of thier set. It's dark, ominious, and heavy. I liked the way Lewis played the hi-hat on the next song "GOTHOHOLIC". A few songs later they picked up the tempo with "SLAG" which was one of thier speedier numbers. About this time during thier set GNAW's songs started to get more intense and aggressive. They played "GIRL SCOUT KILLER" which inspired the crowd to mosh. Josh's stage presence is quite subdued compared to most of the frontmen from other bands I've seen. He doesn't do a lot of hopping around. With a snarl on his face, dressed in black and slightly hunched over while playing his guitar and singing. He kinda has that James Hetfield stance going. GNAW's style can be described as melodic, dark, biting, chuggy and a bit punkish. GNAW was able to cram 15 songs into thier 50 minute set. Pretty much all of them were condensed and to the point. I recommend checking out GNAW at a venue around here in the Bay area.


Again GNAW trump the ante,with a dozen snarling missives(messages).Melodic,aggressive.Their best to date.Though you should already own them all.Dunno,is there a bassist to handle such a challenge?Twisted riffage spawned from a complicated inner logic. Mano Y' Mano core.


This is the second time at the trough for guitarist/vocalist Josh S. and his drummer M. Lewis, who enlisted producer Mark Ignofo (Smashing Pumpkins first knobman) at Reel-Time studios (Hollyhill FL) for this 7 song Ep. While the title might throw you into thinking it's some Cramp's inpired psychobilly, GNAW have vastly improved on thier dark edged metallic grooves, which may have a few more metalheads taking notice. (in fact the bonus instrumental "Breakneck" is a fine little thrasher). Obviously this Tampa duo kick up a lot of noise for just a two-piece, while Ignofo's stinging mix (Bringing Josh's lower strings to the fore) heightens the David vs. Goliath attack. Thier grooves are still some of the best around town. Worth checking out


This is some pretty exciting stuff, considering that this 4-song cassette contains some rough/preliminary audio sketches by the young duo christened GNAW. Right now it appears that guitarist Josh S. and drummer M. Lewis are intent on keeping it as a two-piece, keeping the sound raw with the basic elements. Just as well, because with only a couple of guys voting the company stock, they are able to take some unusual musical turns-using the athemic progressive assult of Rush with some of Tool's obtuse chord sequences (as on Waste Away here). Although it hard to pull off the epic nature of some of this material, they intend on making a lot of noise. Which is just what we want to hear more of.