Friday, February 22, 2013

ACxDC/Magnum Force/Sex Prisoner - 3-Way Split Review

There's nothing quite like a hot threesome, amiright? Three separate beings all coming together into one glorious, magnificent event...I don't think I can keep this metaphor going for much longer without it getting nasty (can I get a high five for it anyway?), so let me just go on by saying that this particular record is one of my most anticipated of the year, and I think I'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who's into powerviolence that isn't stoked for this release. Not only does is bring some of the hardest hitting acts in the underground, but it's also a nice collection of styles; the sharp grindviolence of ACxDC, the dirtier, kinda fastcore-ish Magnum Force, and the modern beatdown stylings of Sex Prisoner. It also brings the latter two out of some sort of hibernation; I mean, it's been at least a couple years since we've hear any new stuff from them. Crazy stuff, glad to see them back at it with recordings.

ACxDC kick this record off, and unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple years, you should know what this band is all about. I've always been a decent fan of these guys, but these 5 new songs really kicked my ass several different ways and solidified me as a total lover. This is hands down the best stuff this band has recorded so far. Just complete grind as fuck violence, and an absolutely uncompromising delivery. ACxDC sounds razor sharp here, each song going straight in for the kill, quick and efficiently, but still taking the time to beat the listener down with some fantastic grooves and breakdowns. Absolutely perfect drum sound too, when the band goes at full blast it's complete grind ecstasy. I love everything about their songs. Magnum Force are next, still sounding like Magrudergrind's - "Rehashed" is the only album that they've ever heard. It's been a while since I've heard anything from these guys, since their last 7" on TLAL actually. They bring three new tracks of super solid powerviolence. Coming after ACxDC, the recordings are noticeably a bit more raw, and "DIY sounding", shall we say. They seem to have gotten a lot faster this time around too, the drummer really goes crazy at some points (the ending to "Out Of Time"). Comparisons to early Magrudergrind are pretty much unavoidable, but hey, I love that style, so these tracks are winners in my book. Lastly, we have Sex Prisoner, another Arizona outfit, and fellow TLAL alumni. I absolutely fell in love with these guys with I heard their "S/T" 7" back in 2010, and my very patient wait for new songs was well paid off. The band sounds heavier then ever, with a new guitar player in tow, and a thick, crushing recording to bring their brutality to the next level. Their blend of classic powerviolence with caveman beatdown hardcore is still strong, but they've really refined it this time around. The two styles aren't as contrasting this time around, the band has worked the two influences into each other a lot more creatively, and constructively, and added a little more variation as well. Every one of their five new songs are absolutely spine crushing, and I hope that I don't have to wait another three years to hear more stuff from them. This really is an excellent release, and TLAL made sure to leave us with some real treasures before the label goes on break. This should be out within the next couple months, buy or die.

Rating: 9/10


Saturday, February 16, 2013

R.I.P Sakatat / Footage From Their Final Show

Another epic bummer of the year, guys. Turkish mince-grinders Sakatat have recently decided to call it a day after 8 years of blasting mayhem. It really sucks to see these guys disband, especially since I got into them so recently. Their one and only full length record, "Bir Devrin Sonu", which came out last year, was my first proper introduction to the band, and was one of my favorite releases of 2012. It made me look back and listen to their many previous releases, including splits with such bands as Archagathus, SMG, Agathocles and Mesrine, among others. These guys consistently brought the good, solid, ripping grindcore jams, and I wish them luck with whatever musical projects all the members decide to take on in the future. You can see footage of their entire last set down below.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

First Exposure: Richard Johnson (ex-Enemy Soil, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Drugs Of Faith)

I'm not sure what the first grindcore record I ever heard was. I'm thinking ... "Harmony Corruption" by Napalm Death comes to mind. I loved it. Well, having said that, my least-favorite song on that record is "Unfit Earth." I got into death metal before grindcore, so that might have helped at the time because of the influences on that album.
Their reputation preceded them for me. I remember going over to the import section at Tower Records in Northern Virginia and finding a copy of "From Enslavement to Obliteration" on vinyl, with that classic sticker that said something like, "'I want to be in the biggest band in the world, and you don't do that sounding like Napalm Death.' - Joe Elliot." I flipped the record over and looked at the photos on the back and thought, "Wow. These guys look really extreme." And I put the record back. I only knew about them at the time I think from seeing Dan Lilker wearing their shirts in Nuclear Assault band photos.
The record still holds up, yes. Besides the obligatory "Suffer the Children" I'd love to hear "If The Truth Be Known" in a set today. They brought back "Vision Conquest" I noticed several tours ago, which I thought was a nice touch to a set, so to speak.
I don't know that the album inspired me musically in a specific way other than them being Napalm Death and doing that for me. The record that really had an impact on my playing and how I write was "Utopia Banished." A huge impact, I would say.

~@AlexCha666 (follow him)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bandcamp Artist Of The Week: Snips

A neat little way to get me to check out your record; have interesting a unique artwork. That's what caught my attention right of the bat with this recent Grindcore Karaoke release. Snips, from what I can gather, is a 2-man cybergrind project from Leicester, England, and that this EP, entitled "Blow The Motherload", is actually over 3 years old. Which I was actually pretty surprised about since one of the first bands that I compared Snips to was +HIRS+, especially with the vocals. There's also a nice mix of early Agoraphobic Nosebleed, and even a little screamo influence thrown in for good measure. Solid drum programming, interesting riffs, and a few very fitting synth parts pop up in the middle. This is a very short release, only barely passing 3 minutes, and I didn't hear one dull moment. These guys should definitely do more stuff, I'd like to hear what they come up with.


Rotten Sound - "Species At War" Review

Hard to think of better ways to close out the first month of 2013 than a new EP from Finnish lords of the blast, Rotten Sound. A band that you can pretty much be guaranteed will deliver the goods with each new release. This new 6 track EP, entitled "Species At War", is the excellent follow up to their 2011 full length, "Cursed". A record that I am still a huge fan of, and that I feel has gotten pretty under appreciated in their discography. "Species At War" continues the "blast then groove" style of grindcore that RS have perfected over their last few releases, and stands out as one of their least subtle releases since the "Napalm" EP. From the almost crude looking cover art, to the EP's lyrical concept (*hint*, they wrote a bit about war*). Right away, this EP blares out of your speakers with "Cause", an absolutely unrelenting opening track that pounds and bombards like machine gun punches to the face. But I wouldn't call this EP, as a whole, unrelenting. At least in how it impacted me. The songs here are pretty typical for Rotten Sound at this point, and very little (okay, nothing), stands out as anything new or really all that exciting for the band, and there a couple things that keep this EP from being 100% solid. Such as the 2nd track; which is an under one-minute slower jam, which just sounds like the breakdown to a full song, but they just decided to scrap the fast part. It just sounds incomplete, which is one of the few gripes I had with "Cursed"; the slower tracks lacked substance, or any real need to be included. This is a record that seems like it's made to tide people over before something much larger. I'd be very surprised if the band wasn't working on a new full-length right now. But hey, if you've liked anything that this band has done in the last few years, and you want some good, quick grindcore songs, it's hard to go wrong with this.

Rating: 7/10


New Music from Mindless, Total Fucking Destruction, Gets Worse, Nails

New music is coming at me from all sides, so let's try to make it all nice and neat here and list a few bands in one article, shall we? Starting with the long overdue and sure to be triumphant return of the almighty Mindless! A new 7" EP has been in the works for a while now, and recently, To Live A Lie was nice enough to debut 2 brand new tracks from the record. Killer stuff, as I'm sure we all were expecting. The main track is a nearly 2 and a half minute slow trudger, followed by a short and sweet blaster. The band sounds heavy as hell, and Faiza is really getting her lower vocals down very well. "Planet Of Pestilence" will be released by To Live A Lie sometime this year, very excited.

Next up, a new 2 track EP from Total Fucking Destruction, entitled, "Monsters"! I've always really gotten a kick out of TFD. Their blend of humor, tight musicianship, and just overall insanity really captivates me. There's really no other grind bands that sounds quite like them. The tracks on "Monsters" are some of the most unapologetically goofy that the band has made. Wild, arena-rock-on-psychedelics-guitar solos are all over the place, cleanly sung back up vocals, lyrics about everyday suicide, and of course, monsters. It's a super short, but super enjoyable listen. Check it out.

Next is a new 4 track EP from UK powerviolence bruisers, Gets Worse. I guess this was released as a companion to their "S/T" EP (which recently came out on a 10" record, which looks amazing and should definitely be purchased), the new tracks here naturally follow the same formula as that release. Super heavy, beefy powerviolence, like a mix of Weekend Nachos and The Afternoon Gentlemen. The songs here a little more straight forward and blasty, but still keeping the chunky monkey grooves. This young band is really going to get a lot of attention soon, I can feel it. Lookout.

And finally, continuing my trend of staying way behind on the current hot topics, the new track from Nails! This is a band that has always kind of had people wondering where they fit in; "Are they grind?", "Are they a hardcore band?", "Nah dude, they're a metallic hard-grind band". While I definitely don't think they are a grindcore band, I know a lot of grinders like them, and fuck me if I'm not head over heels ecstatic about their new full-length, "Abandon All Hope". This track is a monster, and the band sounds as intense as ever. The new album should be out sometime in March on Southern Lord Records. Way too pumped. But screw that craptastic cover art.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Vaccine Are Breaking Up.

Well, chalk this up as the first major bummer of 2013. Vaccine, the only straight edge hardcore/powerviolence band I gave a crap about, are calling it quits after 4 years of activity. Although the bands recorded output barely reaches 20 minutes (if at all), they really did leave a big impact on me in just how fucking out of control and vicious they sounded. "Human Hatred" is a masterpiece, and I still jam that record several times weekly. The band has given an official statement: 

Vaccine is calling it quits.
4 years, 100+ shows in 13 different countries, 40 something songs, 6 records, 2 comps...time to do something else.

We have three more shows in the works:

Saturday March 9th - Miami, FL w/ INFEST
Sunday March 10th - Orlando, FL (matinee show)
Saturday March 23rd - Easthampton, MA (last gig)

We are in the middle of finishing up our last record, which will be a 5 song split 7" with our mutant step child band NO FAITH. If all goes according to plan, and it never does, this will be out in the spring, May or thereabouts. This record does not have a home, if you would like to help out, feel free to hit us up at vaccinexxx (at) yahoo (dot) com

We also have a song on the TO LIVE A LIE RECORDS VOL II Comp coming out sometime this year, featuring Low Threat Profile, To The Point, Hummingbird of Death and other various rippers.

Our newest 10 song 7" entitled Dead Inside, was released on Tuesday, on PAINKILLER RECORDS
Our split 7" w/ COKE BUST will be out in time for these last shows on DRUGGED CONSCIENCE RECORDS

I think that just about covers everything.
Really sad to see these guys go. Especially since I haven't seen them live yet. Their new split with Coke Bust, and their 7" EP, "Dead Inside", are out now, and I'm eagerly looking forward to that upcoming split with No Faith. Hope they have success with whatever they do in the future, and until then, jam "Human Hatred" and break shit.