Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10 Great Releases That Are Under 10 Minutes: Part 2

Y'all seemed to really like the first article of these that I did. And I enjoyed doing it, and my jihad against long grind albums is forever active, so let's make like these great records and not waste anytime getting right into it!

10. Extortion - "Control": Out of all of Extortion's EP's, I'd say that this one is their strongest. But considering how fucking solid their discography is, it's really not for any huge reason other than it's just really really really good. Excellent recording, super intense songs, and an outstanding vocal performance from Rohan. Dude's vocals in the earlier days were nearly untouchable, and I'd put him up their with some of the best vocalists in the genre. Their split 12" with Cold World this year was a great return to form for him and the band.

9. Beartrap - "Nailed Shut": A 16 track, under 6 minute release release from these TLAL favorites. Mmm, yes, let the brevity of it all consume you. If you like your hardcore fast, and unrelenting, "Nailed Shut" is for you. These songs literally bleed into each other, leaving absolutely no room to breath between songs (unless you're spinning the actual record, then you have to flip it half way, of course).

8. Thousandswilldie - "A Carcass Is Only Dead Once": Now this record right here, let me tell you, one of the craziest grindcore EP's I've ever heard. NO songs over one minute, hell, most barely reach 20 seconds. This record is all about fucking your shit up, being as crazy as possible, and blasting it out as fast and tight as possible. Excellent musicianship to bring it all together too, thankfully, so it doesn't sound like some amateur noisegrind band having a giggle and blasting out the quickest jams they can. 25 songs in 7 minutes, RIP Thousandswilldie.

7. No Comment - "Downsided": If by reading this you are just now learning about this record, you need to stop right here and learn up before going on. Widely considered one of the best hardcore/powerviolence records EVER, and it's not hard to see why. The importance and influence of this record can not be understated, you can hear it's influence in almost every modern fastcore band today. TIght musicianship, constant riff and tempo changes, and creative ones at that, and tons of stop/starts. A classic.

6. Spazz/Lack of Interest - Split: This is an essential powerviolence record, in my opinion. Not only because it pairs two of the best WCPV bands, but because, duh, it has some of their best stuff. Particularly the Lack of Interest side, goddamn son, it's just so good. The first song, "Mislead and Deranged", unf. Track this one down.

5. Parlamentarisk Sodomi - "Regnskog, Fred Og Vegetarmat": I really can't get over how fucking incredible Parlametarisk Sodomi was/is. This one guy, all by his lonesome, made some of the best and creative grindcore I've ever heard. His first EP didn't really have as much of the unusual riffing as his full-lengths, but the impact is more visceral and pulverizing. I love the almost blown out recording too, everything just sounds like it's exploding off the record. And the vocals on the track "Sakkosekk, Kaos Og Anarki" always put a smile on my face. RIP Parlamentarisk Sodomi (come back, please).

4. Sidetracked/In Disgust -  Split: Hey look, my favorite fastcore and grindviolence band made a split record. I love when that happens. This fut rucking monster of a split has my favorite material from Sidetracked on it, rivaling the near perfect, "Uniform" EP. Best sounding recording from Jay and co. and crazy great riffs. The In Disgust side is incredibly solid too, more of the same stuff from them, but the Sidetracked side is a real winner here.

3. Defeatist - "In Praise Of False Hope": My favorite EP from a band that was criminally underrated while they were still active. Great "tech-grind" that I never really thought was all that technical though. The riffs they made though were always intriguing, and they definitely gave Defeatist a recognizable sound that was all their own. Heavy as iron knads too. This EP is a total ripper, pick it up. RIP Defeatist.

2. Quattro Stagioni - "S/T": If you're looking for the fastest fastcore bands there is, I bet you Quattro Stagioni can keep you satisfied for quite a while. Inhumanly fast drumming, like the dude injected a cocktail of testosterone, cocaine, and speed into his arms right before recording. The first time I heard this, I was blown away just from the sheer ridiculousness of it all, but in a good way, of course. If your curious about where The Afternoon Gentlemen got a lot of their sound from, it's these guys.

1. SFN - "Itching": I'd say these guys are on of the most promising modern fastcore bands right now (I hope they didn't break up, please tell me they didn't). "Itching" is a lo-fi, distorted little gem of techy-fastcore. I'd almost say it's a little too lo-fi, since a lot of the great riffs don't really shine through the mix that well, but you can tell these dudes have their shit together and know how to write interesting and pulverizing music. This EP is progressively getting harder to find, so pick it up if you can. I hear a posthumous split with In Disgust is somewhere down the line too, let's all hope that's true.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

First Exposure: Jason Pekar (Corrupt Bastards)

Insect Warfare "At War With Grindcore", 2005, I grew up in a really small country town in south Texas so getting music out there was almost impossible, one sunday night me and a friend were scanning through the radio and came across 91.7 which was a local station that played grindcore/death metal from about 11pm-2am I believe, every sunday night we would tune in and listen to insect warfare, plf, hatred surge, hypo christians and all the other good local and non local grind bands.
My initial reaction was blown away, all through middle school and high school me and about 3 other people were the only ones that skated and were into music and at the time we were only into what our older friends listened to which was more texas hardcore stuff like eyeagainst, will to live, pride kills so once we started listening to grindcore we went to see insect warfare play a show and they basically played all there songs straight through with minimal breaks and at the end of the show we were scraping our faces off the floor.
The record still deffinatly holds up to the test of time, even though they broke up a few years ago I guarentee everyone still spins their record almost once a week.
It really inspired me to make a band and play fast, and every since then after all these 
years i'm still trying to play fast!


Ladies and Gentlemen; Phyllomedusa

I admit, I'm not what you would call a scholar on the "gorenoise" genre, but I do recognize it when I hear it, and it certainly takes a lot for me to take time out of my day to do a full article about one band who plays this style. If I'm doing that, you know that this shit's worth checking out. So all that being said, Phyllomedusa! The sickest one-man gorenoise project out of Baltimore, Maryland that your likely to hear, with one of the coolest logos I've ever seen.

Tons of things to talk about from this dude. For one, his discography is MASSIVE. About 70+ releases since 2007 according to his Facebook page, so it could be a bit intimidating knowing where to start. Fortunately, pretty much everything I've heard by him brings the same level of noisy destruction. For the beginners though, I'd say check out the album "Crepitate In Raorchestes Idiom". It's one of his more "polished" records, but that's still sounds very reminiscent to albums like "Putrefaction in Progress" by Last Days Of Humanity. But like, you know, kinda better. A brutal cover of "Phllautus Elimination" by F.I.D is included on there, it rips. 

Phyllomedusa also takes the "animals > humans" aesthetic, which is nothing new, as anyone familiar with bands like Animals Killing People or Cattle Decapitation can attest. However, I've never seen a grind band like this dedicate their whole schtick to one species in particular, in this case, frogs! Those cute little guys are the main inspiration here, and saving them from a grisly death by human hands is the mission. It may seem a little gimmicky, but everything from the song titles, to the concepts behind the albums seem amazingly genuine, and you're more than likely to learn a thing or two if you actually take the time to look up the meanings to these songs. Aside from that, there's a lot of cool frog-based artwork to go along with the albums. 

I know that Phyllomedusa isn't going to be for everyone, but I really do think this dude is making some killer jams, and I know that if you dig into his discography enough, you'll find something you'll like. Fans of grind, gore and noise music should find a lot to like here. I highly recommend the albums "Birdkiller", "Been Caught Herping" and the aforementioned "Crepitate In Raorchestes Idiom" as good starting points. Check out his blog, where he has all his releases available for download, with descriptions about each one included, and give him a "like" on facebook. 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

First Exposure: Jason Netherton (Misery Index)

The first "pure" grindcore record for me had to be Assuck's "Anticapital." It was vicious. Songs like "State to State" and "Socialized Crucifixion" are timeless. It was released in 1991 at the height of the death metal underground's explosion, but you knew right away when you heard it something was a bit different...the songs were short, and the lyrics were politicized (like Napalm Death, who were also grind, but by that time had morphed into the death-grind that they have become famous for in subsequent years). 
Anyway, "Anticapital" had this 'vibe'... it was just bleak, and perhaps they were among the first bands to go with the 3-piece set up sans bass player, creating whirlwind attacks in 40 second bursts of songs that bled one into the next in anarchic fury. Another thing about it that won me (and a lot of other death metal heads) over was the crushing production. It was done at Morrisound, like dozens of other death metal bands, so it had the reliably crushing guitar tone and drum sounds that brought out this animalistic ferocity, and that is why it still stands up today. It is obviously grindcore in retrospect, but then we didn't really know the difference, and the low vocals made it easily accessible for death metal fans, as much as the short songs, blast beats and gritty real-world lyrics attracted the crust punks to it. It was sincere, nasty, and genre-defining, and 
it easily stands as one of the top grind albums of all time, in my opinion.

~ Alex Cha

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sea of Shit/Water Torture - Split Review

This is a  split that I kinda-sorta had foreseen coming/kinda tried to put out myself, but Diseased Audio had the gall to get to it first. I ain't bitter though, cause this split is a dream come true for fans of filthy fast music. Two titans of underground powerviolence together at last. Makes me sick, in the best possible way. Sea of Shit are up first with three tracks of grime-violence. The tracks are a bit cleaner than their last EP (but come on, most records are in comparison), and the slow parts have increased a bit overall, but it gives the songs and riffs a bit more room to breathe. The opening track, "Black and Blue", is an awesome down-tempo trudger that develops and builds very naturally, while at the same time sounding like it's decaying and falling apart, and the following two tracks both have interesting drum passages and breakdowns. The last track even has a kinda black metal chord progression. Overall, the tracks don't have as much of a visceral impact as their previous releases, but it is a solid effort.

Now the Water Torture side is just straight up violence. Five tracks from my Buffalo favorites, and this time we get not one, but two bass players slamming out the sickness. The result may be Water Torture's heaviest recording to date. Pretty remarkable how the new addition really didn't muddy up the sound at all. The riffs on here are just slamming, face-meets-broken-glass-and-rusty-nails brutal, case in point, the track "Living Hell". When that song breaks down, holy shit, it's heavy sludge perfection. The drum tones are more like they were on the s/t EP, which I very much prefer. The combination bass drum/cymbal hits are much more punchy this time around. Elephant stomping heaviness. I'll say it again, this band can do no wrong. Stoked for everything. Killer split.

Rating: 8/10


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Exclusive Premier of A New Priapus Track, "Adversus"

Operation Grindcore is very happy to debut this brand-spanking new track from the North Carolina lords of tech-grind, Priapus. This new track, entitled "Adversus", will be joining another new track for an upcoming split 7" with INTHESHIT, which should actually be out very soon on the mighty Give Praise Records. There will also be a new shirt design, featuring the art above. But this track, do I really need to tell you it's good? Anyone with a brainstem should know that anything Priapus grinds out is pure win. Riffs that crunch, squeal, skronk, screech, and chug come at you a mile a second, and the vocal and drum performances are equally impressive. Any local scene would be blessed to have a band like Priapus in their ranks. Stream the track below, and be sure to pick up the 7" when it comes out. 


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mother Brain - "Straight To Business" Review

There's something just so magical about a tight, concise grindcore record. I love it when a band can fit all they need to say and do in a tidy, brutal 10 minute onslaught. So lets bring in Mother Brain, and their newest EP, "Straight To Business". A rather fitting title since this EP goes right into the head crushing riffs with it's killer intro, and from then on it's just straight brutality. And padding be damned, because this thing had me engaged the whole way through. Brutal, modern grindcore that takes cues from bands like Pig Destroyer and Maruta. Mother Brain is like the sick love baby that was born after a tech-grind hatefuck. If you don't know what I mean by that, basically there are a lot of awesome riffs on here. But it's not like Mother Brains are completely wanky either, the brutality on here is incredible, with the technical guitar flourishes being more like little accents to everything. And the drummer and guitarist just play so well together, little moments like the half-time blasting on "Down The Drain" and the descent into the breakdown on "Old Man"are excellent. Perfectly recorded, and all in packed in the aforementioned 10 minute package. They keep it catchy and they keep it interesting. Great release!

Rating: 8.5/10


First Exposure: Zach Ohler (Strong Intention) & Vincent Matthews (Criminal Element, ex-Dying Fetus)

Zach Ohler: Napalm Death - "Scum" 

I was blown away, it was like nothing else I had heard up to that point. 

It still holds up as a classic. It help pave the way for everything that was to come after, and you could still put that record up against anything that is out today. 

I was so much into hardcore/punk and thrash metal at the time, it definitely inspired me in as much as it showed that things can be even more extreme and yet just as killer as everything I heard up until that point.

Vincent Matthews: Napalm Death - "From Enslavement to Obliteration"

When I first heard it I was hooked. The year was 1989. I loved the sound but not too much on the political lyrics but then again politics are the core of punk and grind. My thoughts today on this record still remains the same they took grindcore and put it on the map and no one has yet to outdo this record and so it remains that. This album has inspired me to always think outside the box when it comes to musical taste. This record has spawned a lot a copy cat bands over the years and I truly believe that after the release of enslavement Napalm Death had to change the core of their writing style because at that time the band Terrorizer had released their USA version of grindcore and that as well took me by storm. Both acts inspired me to pick up a mic and scream my ass off.

~Alex Cha

Monday, October 1, 2012

Reader/Vinyl Collector Of The Week: Dan Burton

Our OG reader of the week is Dan Burton, who was awesome enough to share some pictures of his awesome collection and the story of how he got into grindcore and collecting music. Sick Gadget shirt, dude!!!!

Bandcamp Artists Of The Week: Habitual Defender and Cheap Art

Great fucking hardcore violence from this Seattle duo. Seven songs in just over 3 1/2 minutes, so you know there's no room for bullshit. Great straight forward jams of sonic rawness that remains catchy, just how I like it! I can see these guys pleasing fans of bands like Punch and Extortion, and any fastcore fan. A cassette version should be out soon on Mind Melt Records. I wants it.

I'm so glad I stumbled upon Cheap Art today. I've been really craving some new fastcore jams lately, and Cheap Art are giving me the fix I need. Everything I love about the genre is here, manic and tight musicianship, creative song structure, tempo changes all over the place, and yelled vocals. Sexy stuff right here. Fans of SFN, Lack of Interest, and No Comment need to listen. Apparently this recording is being re-issed on cassette as a split with the band Rapturous Grief. I wants that too.


Jungle Juice - "Involuntary Convulsions" Review

The mighty Give Praise Records is gearing up to release a plethora of new facegrinding records this season, hopefully most of which I'll hopefully be covering on here. One of the freshest faces in the upcoming roster is Jungle Juice, a hardcore band from little ol' Little Rock, Arkansas. Much like the alcoholic concoction of which they're named after, their new 8 song effort, "Involuntary Convulsions", is a mixed bag of stuff and things. On this EP you'll get a heavy serving of hardcore, 15 second powerviolence bursts, sludge, and...atmospheric acoustic interludes? Yeah, you heard me right. Don't flee in terror yet though, because Jungle Juice definitely do not dwell on un-abrasive characteristics like that. JJ know how do dish out the heavy jams, and they bring it to you raw (very raw). Though given that there is a lot of different influences on here, I am naturally left with some mixed feelings. First off, the guitar tone is excellent. Thick and chunky, just how I like it, and when the band busts into those Sabbath-y riffs, it's a beautiful thing. The hardcore stylings are great too; awesome breakdowns and hateful aggression. But there are some parts where I'm just left saying, "huh, why?". The shorter songs on here seem like they're in there just because they can be, and the guitar solos at the ends of the tracks, "Constant Decay" and "Human Limit" really just leave a bad taste in my mouth. Unfortunately, that means I have some issues with half the songs on here. Jungle Juice are a prime example of a band that could release something absolutely killer, if they just fleshed out and fine-tuned their sound a bit. But overall, I did enjoy this EP, and I'm eager to see what this band comes up with next.

Rating: 6.5/10