Happy Halloween everyone! Today's the day to celebrate all that is creepy, spooky, sick and twisted, and that I think that includes music too. Now very rarely do I creeped out by music, but these select five songs have managed to make my skin crawl everytime I've listened to them.
1. Throbbing Gristle - "Hamburger Lady": This is literally the scariest song I've ever heard, no joke. Throbbing Gristle's droning masterpiece off the album "Sacrifice" takes lyrics from a doctors notes about a women who was treated with 3rd degree burns covering most of her body, who's flesh was described as looking like "hamburger meat". Creepy visual unto itself, but add the tense, industrial drones, Genesis P-Orridge's warbly, buried vocals and a manipulated clarinet cry that I think sounds like the women's screams all makes this track fucking horrifying. Piss your pants here.
2. Suicide - "Frankie Teardrop": Suicide's debut album takes a sharp left turn into mind-fuck-ville with the 10 minute opus "Frankie Teardrop". The lyrics flow like poetry read by a paranoid-schizophrenic telling a story about the murder/suicide of a man and his family. Really unsettling stuff. Listen to this with the lights off and just TRY not to jump at the random screams. Listen here.
3. Chris Vrenna(American McGee's Alice) - "Village of the Doomed": Here's a rather obscure one; the second track off the soundtrack to the cult PC game "American McGee's Alice" is the music that plays for the first time you enter the setting of Wonderland. It's as creepy and wretched as the world you inhabit in the game. Pulsing string sections, creaky music box's, echoy female vocals, it's just spooky. Listen here.
4. Pig Destroyer - "Tickets to the Car Crash": "Prowler in the Yard" is a sick twisted fuck masterpiece, but the lone 39 second track "Tickets to the Car Crash" is the one song out of the whole bunch that continues to give me the willies. The song just sounds chaotic and like it's falling apart, and JR's layered screams add even more disturbing punishment. Listen here.
5. Gaza - "I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die": This song just starts out with a simple nihilistic quote from song unidentified women, and then explodes into tortured screams, blast beats, feedback, eerie guitar noises and bloody chaos. It sounds like massive carnage, it sounds like black metal getting fucked in the ass, it's dark as fuck and I love it. Listen here.
If you are a grind fan, chances are that you have heard of and love Wormrot. Here is an interview I did with vocalist Arif over e-mail.
First off, you guys just got done touring Europe with Maruta, how was it?
The tour was awesome. Although there were ups and downs, but that's normal. Other than that, we're cool. We played soccer most of the time during the tour too. haha. I guess for us, touring Europe keeps getting better and better every year. We really appreciate seeing new and old faces once again. We had some awesome and not so awesome hospitality, but it's all good. We're still alive. That's all that matters. Luc and Luuk from Doomstar bookings did an awesome job on the tour. Cheers fellas! We bonded with the dudes from Maruta so much that we've already missed their ever so colorful characters. They were killing it every night! Fucken brownies!
You recently released Noise on Scion A/V, how do you think the reaction to it has been so far and how did you get hooked up with Scion?
If I'm not mistaken, we've just reached home from the US tour or was it Malaysia tour this year can't really recall. We immediately got an email from Earache saying we had an offer from Scion for an EP release. So hell yeah we grabbed the chance immediately. We're just glad that most of the reactions are awesome and some were a little bit too concerned regarding Scion and grind. Humans are humans. We don't bother. Huge opportunity to spread our grind? Yes, please. We played Scion Rockfest this year and they were being totally kickass with having 1st class accommodations, free shows and not to mention a very intense lineup throughout the day. They've been doing this for years so I don't see what's the point of blabbering. It's music. Scion are good people.
You guys released your sophomore album Dirge earlier this year too, are you surprised at how well it has been received?
Honestly we were and still are. As Abuse did so well amongst the masses especially for a debut, we're sort off pressurized to put out Dirge. It's pretty obvious there's difference in both albums. It's just how we progress after each album. We already have in mind that some of those who appreciate Abuse might not be digging Dirge as much. But then again we had reviews and people talking about it during tour, stating they dig it just made our day for sure. Really appreciate it. Changes or no changes between albums, keep in mind that we are still in the right path.
What was the writing/recording process like for Dirge? How did it differ from the writing/recording process of Abuse?
Simply said, we had all the time in the world for Abuse. There weren't any datelines and some of the tracks from Abuse were already written(taken from previous releases). As for Dirge, we had datelines. The Dirge recording process was way shorter than for Abuse. We managed to squeeze everything like song writings(from scratch) plus recordings in a month plus or so. Trying not to sound as rushed as possible because we are very picky with our tunes. And luckily for us everything turned out good and it was smooth sailing right after we were done. Also, I did the artwork for the back of Dirge in that particular month as well. Tight schedule? Kinda. haha
Dirge was also released as a free download; coming from an artist’s point of view do you still think physical formats are relevant?
Physical formats rule. I love vinyl, cds, and tapes. Downloads are fine. I download all the time too. Some people collect and some do not. Either way, our music will be heard. The free download thing was a surprised to us too. We didn't think that it would be leaked before the release date. Earache suggested just to give it away as a free download. We were skeptical, but come to think of it, people are bound to download it anyway. I mean Earache still put out physical copies. It's the listener's opinion on owning one. Like I said either way, people still have a spin at it. No problems there.
Speaking of you being an artist, I have noticed that you have done some really great work for some really awesome bands lately like Magrudergrind, Maruta, Grinned, etc., do you have any upcoming work that you are excited about?
Thanks dude! I've worked with Regurgitate, Obscene Extreme, Kill the Client, Oblivionized, Noisear, Nasum to name a few. As of now, I've been pretty backed up with tons of pending artworks till early next year. The one currently I'm working on is for Pig Destroyer. Pretty stoked on that one. Also another artwork for Magrudergrind at the end of the year, The Drip, Swamp Gas, Godawfulnoise and much more. There are also a number of tattoo designing requests, like body artworks.
What is the process like when making artwork for bands? Do they usually have a specific idea to give you, or do you just come up with something on your own? Also how long does it usually take you to complete a certain design?
Usually they have a certain theme to their artwork. All I need is their song titles, some of their lyrics and their songs. Making sure the artwork is "glued" together perfectly with the whole package. Some will leave it entirely to me when it comes to like tattoo designing. Initial sketches are always important. As long as the client is not satisfied with the composition, I won't rest until it is perfect. Once that is done the real work begins. Sketches take awhile depending on if I nailed it the first time around. But usually artwork takes me about 3 or 4 days to complete(without any conflicts with my personal shit). Mood plays a part too. Sometimes my brain dies for no apparent reason. No inspiration whatsoever. I will never work with a sloppy mind and give half fucked quality to my clients that's for sure.
Do you think the internet has helped Wormrot’s career?
A lot! We're a new band. We've never experienced sending tapes in the mail and waiting like a gazillion years for a reply. So yeah we definitely have the advantage on having everything confirmed fast. It's a good source to spread/promo your tunes to the rest of the world. The Internet helped us getting a record deal and touring. Awesomely pampered generation we are.
What is the scene in Singapore like?
It's ok. Not much going on now so far. The latest was Destruction came over yesterday. We've had bands like Dismember, Napalm Death, Toxic Holocaust, Misery Index tour here over the years. It's great how local promoters like Cynical Sounds and Reconstruct Bookings bring big bands to the local scene. We definitely do have a scene. But it's small as shit. We basically see the same faces every show and playing with almost the same bands over and over again. Shows in Singapore are fine. They are supportive. At times.
You have mentioned in interviews before that Wormrot started out as a deathgrind band, did you purposely decide to change to a more straight forward grind band, or did the change happen naturally?
It happened sort of naturally. We intended to play more of gore death grind-ish something like Disgorge from Mexico but it didn't happen due to Rasyid's interest of the genre. We tried, but failed miserably. He is more into punk oriented influences in terms of chords or whatever. The next closest extreme genre has to be grindcore. I'm always been into grindcore, but never thought of making a straight up grindcore band. Try outs were successful and we became more comfortable each day and finally found our perfect sound.
How were you introduced to grind?
The first grind band I listened to was Nasum. I didn't bother much with genres as long as it's fast and extreme. I discovered them through friends of mine back in the day. We were exchanging tapes to check out all sorts of metal. Not much of the internet browsing at that point of time. Bought few of their releases as years goes by and begin to research on such genre. From there, the internet came into the picture and broadened my mind on tons of grind bands. Also I have to mention, our local grind gods DEMISOR were partly the reason why I became a fan of grindcore. Something about grindcore during live sets just blew me away compared to other genres. Not being bias, but it's the fact. It has to be the energy.
Who are some vocalists that inspire you?
The dudes from Blockheads, Rahi from IW of course, Avi from Magrudergrind, Dave from PLF, Rich from The Afternoon Gentlemen, Jon Chang from Gridlink and lots more. They fucking rule BIG time.
Are there any grind/powerviolence/fastcore bands that you have been digging lately?
Been spinning lots of xbrainiax lately. Some bands that I just got to know of like Get Destroyed, Gripe thanks to Operation Grindcore. Nice name by the way haha. I'm sure I checked out a whole lot more but can't recall any for now. Pretty much playing the same old shit like Spazz, Infest, No Comment, Flachenbrand, Haemorrhage, Jesus Crost, Magnicide, Terrorizer, Trap Them, All Pigs Must die, Iron Lung, etc.
I always have to ask this question in interviews, if you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring 3 albums with you, what would you bring?
To listen to? if so, Tupac's Makavelli, The Afternoon Gentlemen's Pissedography, Boyz 2 Men. Works for every mood all the time. Those are basically the 3 genres I need in my life.
Do you listen to much music outside of grind/powerviolence/whatever?
Grindcore 24/7 is just stupid. I can't live with that. I'm a fan of soul and RNB. Also groups like Bone Thugs and Harmony, Beastie Boys, Prodigy, Tupac, etc. They are always in my playlist when I'm on tour. Sometimes you gotta cut the "Noise" down a little you know what I mean?
Thanks for doing this interview, any other comments?
Hey dude thank you so much for being very patient and cool as we were pretty packed up and taking forever to do this. Salute to you and Operation Grindcore . Keep that shit up you're doing a great job. Also we might be touring again next year and currently grinding some new tracks for the upcoming album. Cheers Andrew! Keep it grind!
I've talked about +HIRS+ a few weeks ago in our Bandcamp Artist of the Week article, and mentioned that they had an upcoming 1-sided 7" EP entitled "Worship" coming out in the near future. Well, today it saw the light of day, so I guess now is a good time for a full review. On this release, +HIRS+ blast out 10 under 1-minute tracks of blasphemous drum machine grindcore. Not your typical million-BPM cybergrind either, is pretty obvious that a lot of attention was focused on songwriting and track to track flow. There are samples galore, all of which are very negative and anti-religious. Again, these are not just added for the sake of having samples, many of these act as segway's into the next track, making "Worship" more like a single piece than 10 individual songs, which is a tactic that I really enjoy. You can purchase "Worship" and their split postcard flexi with Towers here for 6 bucks. Or if you're a cheap bastard, you can download their whole discography for free on their bandcamp.
Rating: 8/10 FFO: Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Standing on a Floor of Bodies
I have been on a bit of a noise kick lately, so I was thrilled to see that some unreleased Japanese Torture Comedy Hour albums have been posted on the Grindcore Karaoke Bandcamp. Out of the 3 albums that have been posted the craziest, most awesome is 'The 24 hour Japanese Torture Comedy Marathon." Which is exactly what the title suggests, a whopping 24 hours of harsh noise! I could try to give you a summary on the story behind it all, but I think J says it better himself.
"By the end of '97 I had this almost nightly ritual of getting stoned and recording a 60min. session of live electronics. All these recordings were created by simply patch wiring guitar FX boxes into a self-sustaining sound loop and manipulating the feedback rushing through them. I used absolutely no instruments (synthesizers, guitar, microphones, samplers) as source for any of these recordings. Even though I had a computer I was still recording to either VHS cassette or to minidisc due to concerns with PC hang ups and crashing. In 2004 I had the intentions of finally converting over some of the few hundred hours of audio I'd accumulated into some usable digital format and maybe try and release something.
If I were to sum up Liverpool based hardcore band Horsebastard in a single phrase it would be this; this band is fucking crazy. Crazy good, crazy fast and all round bonkers. My band shared a bill with them at London’s Purple Turtle once and it was a performance quite a lot of the other bands frankly struggled to match (I was certainly happy we didn’t have to follow them). Every element is top notch chaos executed with a savage foaming insanity. Their now ex-front man Johnboy holds the title of most intimidating on stage personality I have ever encountered; his self-preservation switch wasn’t so much as flipped off as it was ripped out of the wall. He flailed in all directions, got in the audiences’ faces, verbally and physically abused us and tried to smash a bottle to roll around in; he failed but there was still blood. Horsebastard now have a new vocalist Chris and by all accounts he is just as talented. Their three song sample Equestrian Blastcore is up for free download on their bandcamp so go get it.
p.s Watch the drummer and remember to place a cushion beneath your jaw.
This 5" rager is a split release between two awesome labels, A389 and Regurgitated Semen Records. In just four short minutes, Hatewaves shows you just how pissed off they can get. Compromised of members of Pulling Teeth, I already had high hopes going into the first listen, and was not let down. Much faster and more aggressive than their metallic hardcore counterpart, Hatewaves cranks out 7 tracks of fast pissed off jams. Straight forward, raw vocals; nothing over the top but fits just perfectly. Surprisingly, even though most of the songs are under 30 seconds there are some awesome, driving (dare I say, catchy) riffs thrown into it and it works great to keep your head banging. I've heard that all the songs are about inside jokes among the members, so the lyrics are somewhat whimsical and not to be taken to seriously. The lyrics are even funny at times. For what it is I can dig it. There's an instrumental track (I'll let you listen and guess the riff) that I think could have been left out and replaced with something more fitting with the rest of the tracks. But all in all it's a solid second release. If you're looking for some pv influenced fast hardcore and don't mind the running time of a 5", then pick this record up. Black vinyl, in a badass gatefold sleeve (yes, a 5" gatefold), which I've only seen done by one other band (Cap Cas's "Dark Circle"). Buy it either through A389 (U.S.) or RSR (Euro).
Streamhere Rating: 7.5/10 FFO: Hummingbird of Death, Despise You Best track: Pride
I got a crap ton of records the last couple days, and more are on the way, but for now I'll only show some pieces that I'm particularly excited about. Unfortunatly, I don't have a turntable at the house I'm currently at, so I can't tell you what most of these sound like. First up is the Pig Heart Transplant/The Endless Blockade split 7" put out by Superfi records, black vinyl, 45 RPM. I purchased this from To Live a Lie.
Excellent packaging with super, super great artwork. The record is packaged in a 3-panel fold out, heavy weight sleeve with lyrics and more art printed on the inside. Definitely evident that a lot of care and effort went into this presentation. This is The Endless Blockade's official swansong release, and I'm expecting it to be more on the noisy side given who they're sharing this split with. Super excited to spin this. You can still pick it up at a few distros including Give Praise records.
Next up is the brand-spanking new Capitalist Casualties/No Comply split 7" released by To Live a Lie. Will sent me the "pill bottle orange" version (limited to 100) to review, so expect that sometime next week. The CC side is a live recording from 1994 and the NC side is taken from a split with Charles Bronson that sadly never happened. The orange vinyl one's are going fast so pick one up real soon!!
Next up is The Endless Blockade - "Turn Illness Into a Weapon" 12" on black vinyl with a double-sided insert. I got this from Vinyl Junkie, and I just have to rant about this purchase for a bit because it was not a good experience. Now, I've ordered from them 3 times prior, all with good results, but I don't know what the fuck happened with this one! First up, it took about 3 weeks for my purchased to "finish processing", and I should have gotten Dystopia's - "s/t" LP with it, but apparently someone stole it, or it disappeared some other way. Which is weird, cause you'd think if someone ordered it, it would be taken off the shelves. Anyway, this record finally arrives, and I open it up to find no padding, no protection, nothing. Just the record in the LP mailer with a few random things thrown in. Major, major, MAJOR no-no!!! The record wasn't even mailed outside the sleeve, leading to the inevitable split seams and dents. Also, it had a big as fucking sticker on the cover(not advertised with this information), which I thankfully managed to get off without tearing, but still an unpleasant surprise. Fucked up order, but I got another order from VJ coming in the mail soon, and hopefully that one's better. If not, I probably won't order from them again. Anyway, here's the record.
Lastly is the vinyl version of Fuck the Fact's - "Die Miserable", released by Relapse Records on clear vinyl with a double sided insert. Topon Das messaged me asking if I would be interested in buying a clear version off him(the clear Relapse records are limited to 100 and only given to the bands and the employees, not sold to the public), and of course I bought it right up. Thanks a lot dude!! I've talked endlessly about this album on here in the past, and let me tell you that it is awesome. Very awesome. Expect a full review in the near future!
By the way, here's a little fun fact; I own this album in all the 3 mediums it was released.
This comp is awesome! Originally released in 1997 and limited to 500 copies, this comp was put together by Scott Hull and J. Randall along with a few other people. With 99 tracks from 99 bands this comp may seem a little overwhelming and you might expect it to be a burden to listen to, but it is an enjoyable listen. Seeing how each song is around thirty seconds long, you need to listen to this comp in it's entirety to get the full experience. Just picking out songs by the bands you recognize wouldn't work. Some of the bigger names on here are Noothgrush, Benumb, ANb, Spazz and Bastard Noise and loads more. Cattle Decapitation's track on here is really neat, it's noisy powerviolence that is completely different from their deathgrind style that they are most known for. Also the artwork is fantastic! If you are in the mood for a crazy listening experience look no further.
Breaking fucking news everybody! In a recent statement on their website, the remaining members of Nasum have confirmed that they will reform next year with Keijo Niinimaa of Rotten Sound to man the vocal duties that would belong to the late Mieszko Talarczyk, who tragically passed away in the 2004 tsunami, thus ending Nasum. Very exciting news, but the band has made it very clear that this is not a full-fledged resurrection of Nasum; they will only be doing a handful of shows around the world(no dates yet confirmed), there will be no new album, and after this short run is over, they will disband again for good.
Admittedly, I'm not a very huge fan of Nasum. Maybe it's cause the only album I own from them is "Human 2.0", which I've heard people say isn't their best, but I would totally love the chance to see Nasum live. True, it probably won't have the same impact as seeing them with Mieszko fronting the band, but I imagine these shows being as more of celebration of his talents and the impact he Nasum had on grindcore worldwide. Here's hoping they play MDF 2012! Leave your opinions in the comment section.
Here's some good 'ol raw powerviolence for you to enjoy this week! Foot Clan are a 4-piece from Oregon, and I guess this is a tape release, but I can't find much info on it or about the band themselves. Like I said before they play powerviolence, but there's also a good amount of influence from 90's east-coast hardcore. Sludgy-up-front bass, fast drums, gruff shouted vocals, raw sound, it's all there and it's really frickin good! Fans of Sea of Shit, Mindless, Get Destroyed, and early Weekend Nachos should take note. I hope to get their tape soon. Stream or free download here.
One of the great things about short releases is that there is usually very little room to fuck up; a few songs play, they do their thing, and then done. And if they do happen to fuck up, it'll be over in no time at all. "Uniform", the latest EP from Tacoma, Washinton's fastcore duo Sidetracked, does not fuck up. What we have here is a 13 song, one sided 7" that blasts your balls off with non-stop aggression(and a very minimal amount of slow parts), then ends 4 minutes later. Some people might not be able to get over the brevity of some of these songs(the longest being 34 seconds), but this is a release that you really have to take in as a whole. Trying to pick out stand alone tracks will only leave you with a headache. The recording is very rough and distorted, but I think that adds to the aggression and momentum of the music. The lo-fi production almost give the music a throbbing effect. This is the kind of release that I can see being a big hit in the early days of grind/fast hardcore, where the fastest and shortest releases were sought after by speed hungry kids. Definitely one of my favorite EP's of this year, pick it up at To Live a Lie and keep an eye out for the metric-buttload of releases they have coming out, which you can read about here.
Shame on me for not keeping up with one of my favorite grind bands! Bad me, very bad me! The last news I heard from Antigama was that they brought back the exceptionally awesome Lucas for vocal duties and they were writing/recording for a split CD with the italian band Psychofagist as well as a new full length. Awesome right? Well on September 30th they just so happened to debut a brand spanking new track from said split called "Missing the Past". It boasts a bit of a different sound for Antigama; more melody and a very bouncy riff, plus more audible bass. This might worry a few fans, but remember that Antigama are no strangers to experimentation, and it sure is great to hear Lucas's vocals again. Though I do hope that they balance the other songs with an even amount of grind and psycho-weirdness. Bottom line, I'm super stoked. Check out the song here, and tell us what you think!
Truth be told, I've actually had my eyes on +HIRS+ for about a month or so now, but their music didn't really "click" with me until recently. Musically, this Philadelphia duo plays cybergrind with very heavy industrial elements, spazzy guitar riffs and a lot of samples. Very dark sounding music with good production, thought-out structures and crazy vocals. They have a lot of releases upcoming (the picture above is the cover for their upcoming 1-sided 7"), and they have a split postcard flexi(!) out right now, all of which can be downloaded for free on their bandcamp. Check it out here and keep up with them on facebook. Very, very cool stuff.
Kevin Mahoney, founding vocalist of the legendary and incredibly influential hardcore band Siege passed away last Friday. The cause of death is not yet known. Siege's impact on hardcore/grind is undeniable, without them the genre we know and love today would be drastically different, influencing everyone from Napalm Death to Dropdead (who took their name from Siege's one and only official album). The sound they brought was unlike any hardcore band in America before them, the tempos blazingly fast and the guitars metallic, making some credit them as the very first grindcore band. Kevin's incredibly aggressive vocals were just as key to the band as the music, he was and is a true legend and pioneer. He will be missed.
Hello everyone, I am Dante and I have been added as a new contributor to this blog. I am very good friends with both Andrew and VII, and am very excited to be a part of this blog. I am 15, just as Andrew is and have been into Grindcore/Powerviolence for a few years now. It has changed me and will always stick with me no matter what phases or what I enjoy musically, I can always go back to "Prowler In The Yard" or "Youth Attack" I will do my best to contribute what I can to this blog whether it be interviews or reviews or even just suggestions for bands that people may not have heard of regardless of genre.
I play in drums and do vocals in a band called Sickfit, we play hardcore and we will be releasing as split tape on Operation Grindcore with Hiroshima Vacation (VII's band) so look out for that. If you're curious to know more about me just check out my youtube channel, I do reviews and drum covers, so as I said, I couldn't be happier to be apart of this blog, thanks to everyone!
My friend Ethan has started up his own blog called Year in Suffering, which you should all check out. Ethan is a really, really cool dude that I got to know through reviewing music on youtube (check out his channel here), he's a fan of all the grind and powerviolence we know in love, but also has an incredible love for brutal death metal and other heavy shit. He's got a few reviews up on the blog, stay tuned for more. Support!! Follow here.
I made my first order from Diseased Audio a few days ago, and I couldn't be more happy with the package I received! It came to me in about 4-5 days, and in a manilla envelope, which almost always screams disaster when we're dealing with vinyl shipping. But when I opened it up I found that my purchases were wrapped in 2 more layers of mangled cardboard boxes. Looked sketchy as hell, but everything came out amazing! No bent corners, no warped records, no cracks. Excellent shipping! First up is the Worn Out demo tape(who were one of our Bandcamp Artists of the Week), I got the last one (sorry Andrew) and it looks fantastic. Pro-cassette, self released by the band.
Shitty webcam photos are shitty, but the quality of the pictures I tried to take with an actual camera were crappier, so for now this is how these posts are gonna look. But I digress, the art is printed on heavyweight paper and folds out into the whole picture, with lyrics on the back. This band rips, definitely check them out!
Next up is Vile Intent - "In the Shadow of the Skull", their first 7" release. Diseased Audio actually put out their follow up 7", "Regression to the Mean", which has stirred up a bit of a buzz in certain underground grind circles. I opted to get this one first because it's harder to find.
Very excellent packaging from Choking Hazard Records, die-cut sleeve printed on heavyweight black card-stock with silver ink with a double sided insert. Black vinyl. Very raw grindcore, I'll be buying their other 7" soon.
Lastly is another band and 7" that has created quite a buzz, Sea of Shit's demo. Originally released on cassette I believe, but then pressed on to wax by Suburban Mayhem Records from Ireland. Very simple packaging, folded sleeve with an insert. Black vinyl, black labels, no bullshit.
I can't say I'm in love with this band yet, like everyone else seems to be. Raw PV, and that's about it. I actually prefer the stuff I heard from with s/t EP and their split with Socially Retarded, but those were unfortunately sold out. I'll hopefully be getting those soon.