Monday, June 27, 2011

Attack of the Demos! Nohari, Xyphos

First off, let me just say that the cover of this ep is awesome! What is cooler than a girl with purple liquid coming out of her mouth and eyes? On this EP the quality of the artwork and the quality of the music match. Nohari give us six tracks of completely original sounding grindcore. If you are looking for some awesome grind, look no further than this ep. Listen here

Xyphos-What Comes Before
Xyphos are a death metal band from Canada, and they blend a lot of different sounds and influences into their style. I guess Xyphos' style could be called technical death metal, but it is miles ahead of most tech-death. I find most tech-death bands such as Obscura, Necrophagist, and Origin, really boring and showy; like the whole purpose of their music is to show off their musicianship. Xyphos are completely different. The thing I love most about Xyphos is their vocals, they sort of remind me of Skeletonwitch, with their blend of black metal and death metal! Listen here!

~Andrew Lipscomb

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Interview:Hiroshima Vacation

Here is my interview I did with Hiroshima Vacation over email. Check out their song on the Vol. 1 comp here, download their first demo here, and like them on Facebook here.
~Andrew Lipscomb

First off, can you introduce yourself and what your role is in
Hiroshima Vacation?

Seven: My name is Seven "VII" Caso, and I play guitar, drums, and do vocals.

Tenor:My name is Tenor Caso, and I play Drums, Guitar, and Vocals.

You recently released a new EP, can you tell us about that?

Well, we recorded all the songs in late 2010, initially for a split with Standing on a Floor of Bodies and Grotesque Disfigurement. However due to some unfortunate circumstances it had to be postponed indefinitely. We didn't really want to just have this recording lying around forever, so we decided to release it as it's own EP. This is also our first recording as a 2-piece, and me primarily playing drums.

Tenor: I actually found all the DVD cases and CDs in free piles around town, so it was really cheap to release.

Who did the artwork for your first demo/ep?

Seven: This artist from Cleveland named John G. He does a lot of poster art, but he's done shirts for Kill the Client and Keelhaul among others. Check out his art here

What is it like being brothers in a band?

Seven: I think all in all it's just become an easier band experience then when we were a 3-piece. Me and Tenor have been in bands together ever since we started playing music, so we definitely have that connection. We can definitely read each other better and get more of a feel for what the other person wants when creating songs.

Tenor: It's dope. We've been playing music together for so long that we are on the same page mentally about a lot of musical stuff.

What is the writing process like for Hiroshima Vacation?

Seven: Usually one of us will come up with a riff or 2, or have an entire song written and then either me or tenor will jam it together to create structure and drum parts.

Tenor:Independent song writing, and then we just teach each other what we came up with.

What are some of your lyrical themes?

Seven: Most of our lyrics now-a-days are about social observations. Tenor mostly writes lyrics, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to that so most of my songs don't have lyrics written for them, live I just scream to the music. But that'll be changed soon!! Haha!

Tenor:I write about relationships I have with different people, self respect, calling out metal head hypocritical bullshit. I really hate the metal head mentality.

What is the music scene like in Ithaca?

Seven: The music scene is very healthy in Ithaca. Ithaca Underground really stepped things up here though, before they came around it was very hard for young bands to get shows and all-ages shows were pretty rare. Now there is a very health all ages-DIY-underground scene with a lot of very interesting bands. The heavy music scene has also grown incredibly over the last few years. We're still pretty much the only grind band in Ithaca, but a lot of grind bands to come into town to play!

Tenor: It's cool because there's a little of everything.

How often do you guys play live?

Seven:We play live maybe once a month, on average.

Tenor: hmmmmm

You guys are pretty young, how old are you?

Seven:I'm 17, but not for long.

Tenor:Im 15.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Seven: I'm influenced by everything from Tom Waits to Discordance Axis, so the range is pretty big. But in terms of heavy music, Converge is one of my top bands in terms of influence in guitar riffs, Pig Destroyer, Discordance Axis of course, I really love the way Jay Randall from ANb writes lyrics and puts words together, the Melvins are definitley one of my most influence bands, Man is the Bastard/Bastard Noise of course, In Disgust. Those are what come to mind right now.

Tenor:Queens Of The Stone Age, Sufjian Stevens, In Disgust, The Beastie Boys, OFWGKTA, The Point! album, Magrudergrind, The Ink Spots, Violent Femmes.

What are some albums that you have been jamming lately?

Seven: I've been listening to a lot of music besides grind and metal recently. I've been jamming the Death Grips - "Exmilitary" mixtape literally all week. Boris - "Attention Please" is really awesome, Kill the Client - "Cleptocracy", Tyler the Creator - "Goblin" has some good songs that I love a lot, but I still haven't gotten through the whole album yet, the new Rotten Sound is dope as fuck, and the new Beirut single is beautiful.

Tenor: Dude, I can't get enough Wolf Gang. I've been listening to Earls Sweatshirts album a bunch, Bastard and Goblin by Tyler, The Creator, Rolling Papers by Domo Genesis. Age of Adz by Sufjian Stevens. Era Vulgaris By Queens of the stone age.

Aside from grind/pv, what are some other types of music/artists that you enjoy listening to?

Seven: Too many to list, I love listening to artists like Sufjan Stevens, Beirut and Neutral Milk Hotel. My love for hip-hop/rap music grew incredible over the last year, Beastie Boys are one of my favorite bands ever. I listen to a lot of metal, Torche is probably my current favorite of that genre, they play a style that I wish I had created. I basically listen to anything that I find interesting, I don't really care about genre.

Tenor: Ha!

Other than grinding our faces in, what are some other things that you enjoy doing?

Seven: I review music on my youtube channel, Yaksniffer is my profile name.

Tenor: Skateboard with Bram, lake life with Bram, walk in the woods with friends, go hard with friends. I make a lot of hip hop beats too.

Here are some questions from the readers of Operation Grindcore:

What is the meaning of life? (Daniel Duque)

Seven: I know the answer, but I'll never tell.

Tenor: If I told you I would have to let you live, and sadly I have to kill you.

How many nugs do you smoke in a week? (Mike Haner)

Seven: I smoke whole trees man, get with it!

Tenor: More then your broke ass.

Will you burn down the Westboro Baptist Church? (Daniel Duque)

Seven: Probably

Tenor: No

Who inspires you, what are your goals for HV? (Joshua Armijo)

Seven: To create the music I love and that I would want to listen to.

Tenor: Everyone I meet inspires me in some. I would love to get mad famous.

Will your music ever be available on vinyl? (Alasdair Kelly)

Seven: Yes, we're hoping to release a 7" late this year or early 2012.

Tenor: Hell yeah, brah.

Will you ever play Scotland? (David Kowalczyk)

Seven: If you pay for it, sure!

Tenor: Dude, I want to go to Scotland so bad!

Do you go to Hiroshima on vacation? (Josh Terror)

Seven: No

Tenor: Dude, I want to go to Hiroshima so bad!

Thanks for the interview, any other comments?

Tenor: Thank you for a place on your comp, and thank you for this interview!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gem Grinder: Metallic Hardcore Before It Was Cool

HELLO FIENDS. Mike Infected, reporting for duty. I come to bring you gems of deadly grinding hardcore supremacy. The purpose of this segment is to bring to light a lot of stuff I think grindheads might miss or over look because of all the hyped modern stuff. There's a lot of stuff out there to be heard! This month I will be focusing on grinding metallic hardcore from the late 90's. I was just a wee tot during most of the 90's but I acknowledge that a lot of whats going on in hardcore these days is all just rehashed stuff from the 80's and 90's, Nothings fresh, Pay homage kids! The bands I'm gonna showcase today are Acrid, Unruh, and Rorschach...

I was introduced to Unruh through the comp 'Cry Now Cry Later'... They were a sick moody, metallic, grinding, hardcore band from Arizona. To me they perfectly mix hardcore, death metal, and 'emo violence.' They chug, they blast, they drone out a little, they were doing this long before it ever became trendy to do so! These guys set the bar (and unfortunately most people didn't reach up to it, look at the pathetic excuses for 'deathcore' we have these days...) This is truly raw, pissed, misanthropic shit, don't miss out on it!

Suggested album: MISERY STRENGTHENED FAITH. (released on the King Of The Monsters label in 1997)

Acrid, stylistically is very similar to Unruh, they were from Canada (if I'm not mistaken). They were just a bunch of hardcore kids playing the music they wanted to hear. They are bit more on the sludgey side but they definitely bring the same kind of vibe. No frills, scathing, metallic hardcore, just raw drug free anger, hatred, and misanthropy!

Suggested Album: Eighty Sixed (released on No Idea Records on Vinyl in 1997)

Rorschach are from New Jersey, and they are arguably the fore fathers of chaotic metallic grinding hardcore. Having power violence, metalcore, and screamo fans laying claim to them being 'theirs.' These guys are definitely NOT something to miss out on. They've been doing the metallic, moody, grindy, hardcore thing since 1989, and they certainly do it right. Mixing schizophrenic wails, with dizzying, churning, riffs, with blasts, chugs and chord progressions that were unheard of at the time. Being influenced by everything from Rites of Spring, to Slayer, to Rudimentary Peni,you know this is stuff to hear. These guys paved the way for bands like Converge, Dystopia, and a lot of the more mathy hardcore bands to follow.

Suggested Album: Protestant (released by Wardence/Gern Blandstend in 1993)

Fans of Dystopia, Weekend Nachos, Converge, New Lows, Sea of Deprivation, Noothgrush, and any kind of metallic hardcore should check all these bands out!

~Mike Infected

Monday, June 20, 2011

Green Terror-Heathengrind Holocaust

You can hear grindcore, death metal, thrash, crust punk, and all kinds of influences in Green Terror's sound. Green Terror have a well rounded sound, the vocals provide a good balance of high and low, the guitars provide some strong riffs, and the drums fit into the mix perfectly without drowning out the guitar sound, like what happens with most grind albums. "Ritualistic Extermination" starts off Heathengrind Holocaust with a sample and then boom the album takes off. "Dead on the Beach" is another standout that is extremely catchy, there is even a cover of "Dis-Organ-Ized" by legendary gore-grinders Impetigo. Overall, Heathengrind Holocaust is a very solid release and Green Terror have a ton of potential.

I give Heathengrind Holocaust a solid 8.5 out of 10

Listen/download Heathengrind Holocaust via the Operation Grindcore Bandcamp page here

~Andrew Lipscomb

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's Here

It is finally here, download the comp for free here. Pre-order the physical version of the comp here


Monday, June 13, 2011

Lyrics of The Week:Robocop-Assassination Markets

Amphetamine psychosis, cyber-terrorist
Endless illumination, victim by victim
This excavation of flesh will cause none to yield
He insists he’s a miner of truth
Assassination markets
Provisions can be made if you’re feeling lucky
Expiration dates of leaders and CEOs
Sent to a void of encrypted binary
A stealth accumulation of wealth and knowledge
The last known location of your family
“Good business is where you find it.”
The fundamentals of capitalism:
The high price of your life
Versus the low cost of bullets

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Albums That Got Me Into Grind: Vii Caso(Hiroshima Vacation)

Napalm Death - Scum
How fitting that the first grindcore album I ever heard is the one generally credited for spawning the genre. This album was given to me from a friend of mine on X-mas a long ass time ago. I was into heavy music at that time, but the heaviest thing I was listening to were bands like Slayer and Pantera. So when I first heard this album, I don't think I got passed the first 3 songs before I turned it off. I hated it, I mean I really hated it. To me at that time it was just noise, but gradually as I kept pulling it out and listening to it I gradually started to appreciate it more and more. Until eventually I could listen to it with genuine enjoyment. It's what started my interest in grind; researching it and finding more bands. It opened the flood gates.

Pig Destroyer - Phantom Limb
Why this album and not "Prowler in the Yard"? Well, because this was this first PxDx album I heard, and once I got into it, it stuck to me like napalm, baby. Definitely a more "metal" release than there previous albums, but "Phantom Limb" is still very much a grind record. Chock full of catchy as fuck yet crushingly brutal riffs, great songs, and some of the best lyrics J.R. ever spewed from his mouth. This was the second grind album I really got into, and it's still one of my favorite.

Magrudergrind - S/T
This was the album that solidified me as a serious grindhead. This album made me go, "yeah, this grindcore stuff is the shit!" This album hit me like a sack full of bricks. The first time I heard the song "Excommunicated" on their myspace page, I got chills. It was so intense, so heavy, so fast, it was love at first listen. I still think that's one of the best grind songs ever written. When my band first started up, we were heavily influenced by this album, it was so infectious. It practically changed the way I listen to grind.

Total Fucking Destruction-Hater

There haven't been many grind albums(since I first discovered the genre) that have surprised me and "knocked me off my rocker" like Hater did. I really don't even know if I would consider Hater a grind album. Sure, it has blastbeats, but Hater is so much more than your typical grind album. TFD throw a lot of different influences and sounds into their style, but it doesn't sound like they try hard to be different, like many other bands. Some of the songs sound like crossover thrash songs, some songs sound like they could be punk songs, and some songs sound like they are rock songs with blastbeats; they are all very awesome! Hoak's drumming is top notch on Hater(much like any other time) and his chaotic, and spastic drumming style really is the icing on the cake for Hater. I don't really know how to describe the vocals on Hater, but they sound like pure chaos(in a good way). Some standout tracks on Hater are "Repeat Repeatedly"(which is sure to get stuck in your head), "Meat Without Feet," and "Tony Hung Himself." "Human Is The Bastard" also joins the ranks along with Robocop's "Maine Is The Bastard," as the best song titles referencing Man Is The Bastard.

It seems with most people that they either love Hater or are a hater(I had to, haha), personally I don't see why any grind fan wouldn't enjoy it, as it is a very unique release that stands out from the "normal" grind sound. I guess a lot of people expect TFD to be Brutal Truth 2.0, and when they hear TFD, they instantly dismiss it as "not grind" or "too weird," without giving TFD much of a chance. Overall, I really have nothing bad to say about Hater, and I definitely see it making my "Best of 2011" list. Hater also has some of the sickest artwork I have seen this year.

I give Hater a solid 8 out of 10

~Andrew Lipscomb

[Full Disclosure: Richard Hoak sent me a download of the album]

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ross Gnarly's Favorite Album Covers

I was asked to write this for my good friend Andrew and I thought I would start this off with a little introduction. I am a huge fan of art. Salvador Dali is one of my favorites along with H.R. Giger and Francis Bacon. All of these people produce extraordinary artwork that has lived on for many, many years. These artists are world renouned and if it hadn't been for people like this we wouldn't have today's artists like Paul Romano and John Dyer Baizley. I think that artwork can give you a good idea of what an album has in store, music wise. In this, I will be giving a list of my favorite album art and why I like said artwork. Check it out.

Coffinworm-When All Became None
All you have to do is look at this. Just look. It is amazing. A giant eye coming up from a decrepit looking tree. Behind that, the remains of, what seems to be, a post-apocalyptic world. Sitting on top of that is Coffinworm's unbelievable logo. I mean, come on! That is one of the best logos I've ever seen! Amazing album that I listened to based on the artwork alone.

Insect Warfare-World Extermination
Death reigning over a cityscape full of cockroaches. Fucking epic. This album art is extremely well done. Every detail of every building is clear and everything is perfect. The roaches are huge and evil-looking. It's just an amazing album cover. Once again, an album I listened to based on the album art.

This band literally came out of nowhere. I had never even heard the name Kvelertak mentioned before stumbling across a review of the album in Decibel last year. I didn't even read the review, based on the album art (which was clearly John Dyer Baizley), I was sold. I loved it. The octopus owl and beautiful women, the color tones, everything is beautiful. No text to throw off the flow of the artwork. It's fantastic. I love Baizley's work and this may be one of my favorites.

Lake of Blood-As Time And Tide Erodes Stone
I love how simple this is. The accents on this make it seem like this is an actual painting that I have just never seen. I love it. It's dreary, misanthropic and Lake of Blood have an amazing logo. I went with the Coffinworm rule on this one, based on the logo, I listened to this band. This is not only amazing album art, but it is also a killer album. I love black and grey art. It's simple and it wields amazing results.

~Ross Gnarly(American Aftermath)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Arif Rot's(Wormrot) Favorite Album Covers

Arif Rot is the singer of the spectacular grind band Wormrot(see my Album of the Week post on Dirge here) and he also is a extremely talented artist(check out his artwork here). I recently asked him to do a post about some of his favorite album covers, so here it is:

Insect Warfare - At War With Grindcore

When it comes to black and white artwork, I'm really a fan of the b-grade horror comic style. It adds a raw element which makes it look ultra oldschool. As far as the cover above, this dude probably had his eyes burst inwards right after the very last portion of inking. Not to mention the whole composition of this piece is massive. A balance of white spaces and black ink is incredible in this one. He balanced out the whole perspective which I personally think is fucking hard to accomplish. I have no clue who this dude is but he pull it off agonizingly well. Mad details for a mad ass band = WIN.

GAF - Mongofied

I still remember the first time I saw this cover art, I was like, "Duuuudeeee WTF!???". Aziz from Scrotum Jus Records released this album and brought over the high resolution to my place as he needed help creating a promo flyer for it. I couldn't stop staring for like hours. I'm a huge fan of Stippling artworks. The composition for this one is rather abstract yet kinda easy to be playing around with all those guts and glory. The main medium will definitely enhance the piece although you can see it's in a fucking mess. Stippling does the trick. It adds volume to every single detail. It's a pain in the ass for sure but the results are.. Well look at it yourself. I dig how he concentrates more details on the bottom and not much on the top. Amazing.

Cannabis Corpse - Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise

Now this dude is an all rounder. He did the black and white for Wormrot's Dirge cover art, and now this. It's really amazing how he blends in colors like that. I'm not a huge fan of colors when doing any of my works but this hypnotized me to do one. You can basically imagine the whole story of whats happening in the cover before and after the scene. Loud colors on cover artworks can be fucked up, but this master piece kicked me right in the eye. I'm sure you have seen old school horror movie posters right? So just picture this as a movie. Old school? CHECK.

Putridity - Degenerating Anthropophagical Euphoria

Before I was into grindcore, I was in a brutal death band called Flesh Disgorged. That was during 2004 and I have been a fan of these putrid/gore cover artworks ever since. This dude if I'm not mistaken is from China. Holy shit right? I'm very impressed on how dull yet incredibly sick this is. You can't tell if this was painted in Photoshop, or an actual painting itself. All in all, it looks mighty real. You can't go any grimmer atmosphere than this. His shadings due to the lighting placement is just brilliant, and to pull off that kind of shadings with colors? Goddamn. The perfect brutal death metal album cover artwork of the century period.

Rot/Life Is A Lie - Split EP

Cut and paste artworks sometimes looks a little awkward; and most of the time people tend to think it's shit because no effort is needed by the artist to execute it, but it takes tons of skills to blend everything. This split release is a great example. Everything falls into place. Nevermind the proportions, different textures, etc. It looks fucking amazing. A different kind of abstract with a message artwork that I really appreciate. This dude is ultra old school.

~Arif Rot

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Everybody's A Critic

Us metalheads, we're an opinionated lot aren't we? With two cents to chuck in on any given subject regardless of whether or not our opinion is even worth that much (for evidence of this just go to any metal video on YouTube and look in the comments). The internet in general is awash with heavy-handed criticisms not just from metalheads, everyone these days seems to enjoy channeling Charlie Brooker and having a passionate rant about music. Being one of the people who make a hobby of this very thing myself I've begun to realize something...

I started reviewing on the internet by going to my local pub and watching the bands that would be performing and review them on a blog. I would usually spend the night being an unimpressed smug bastard and the next day publicly decrying the acts, harshly. Way too harshly than most of the bands (read 'all' of the bands) deserved. I thought I was being clever, cool, nonchalant. And it's taken a while, but I think this attitude, common on the net, has gotten really old and is ultimately fruitless.

The internet is saturated with people on blogs and in comments sections who spend so much of their free time spewing bile about bands or releases they didn't like, coming up with inventive and humorous metaphors and similes to send up the offending material.

As the saying goes, "Everybody's a critic" especially on the internet. It's become a bit of a trend mainly due to it being easy; mocking something someone else has done is far easier than creating something original yourself, and being sceptical and cynical is always perceived as 'cool' so now everyone takes the piss from their seats of power and anonymity and it's just gotten so weary. I'm officially sick of the negativity.

I'm not saying that people aren't allowed to say they didn't like something, just that there's too much focus being put on the negative. I guess it can make a person feel more naked to declare liking something than hating it, so that's the more common impulse, especially if that something has less of a following that will readily back you up.

I used to have a lot of time for hate and bile, these days I find myself jaded and tired reading about what people hate or even talking about what I hate. Video's like "Top Ten Worst Metal Bands,""Why Bring Me The Horizon Suck," etc., make me sigh with frustration. Not to mention the slew of comments that inevitably follow, usually to the tune of "WTF? Dis list sux. Ur music iz crap!" I just think, if it's so awful, why waste time on it? Listen to something you like or let other people know about this awesome thing you know about! It makes much more sense to me. I feel so much more enthusiasm for the positive reviews than I ever did for the rush of bile I felt for the scathing whine fests.

Essentially I think we all need to chill out somewhat, and remember that we don't listen to music to feel superior or to ruin other people's experience; we listen to music to be moved, to enjoy it. Don't we? Anything else, in my opinion is a waste of time. Recently, I've found blogs and vloggers who more likely than not will use their limited free time and infinite net space to talk about music and topics they think is really good and that they think other people will want to hear about and it's wonderful. Think about it, will you ever regret that you never took the time to call someone an idiot for liking 'Death Magnetic' on YouTube? Will you wish you hadn't just laughed and turned on an album you love?

I'm not saying I'll never write an angry review again or get pissed off when someone has got different taste to me, because I will, but I think it will help to remember the very true remark Laurie Anderson made: "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture". Keep that in mind before you waste time trashing the next KERRANG! teeny bopper poser band.

~Martin Dean Grainger