Thursday, July 25, 2013

3-way Hygiene Records Review: Gets Worse, Cheap Art, Chulo/Marion Barry

As you may have picked up from the Abuse. review I posted a couple weeks ago, I am in a full on Hygiene Records kick. The NC based label has put out not only some of the most solid grindcore and powerviolence records of the year, but a couple records I consider some of the years best! Here are my thoughts on a three of the labels freshest releases.

Gets Worse shouldn't be a very new name to a lot of you. After all the band burst into the undergrounds consciousness with a punishing debut 10" last year, and a crushing follow up EP a few months later.
Now these UK chuggers take another swing with their new 7", "Negative". A record that's as heavy as it is nice to look at (seriously, these records look f-a-b-ulous). The band may have less run time to work with, but they pack as much burly, raw beef riffs into it as they can. They always struck me as a really good mixture of Weekend Nachos (almost eerily similar) and The Afternoon Gentlemen. They definitely bring the blasts, but for the most part the songs are built around crushing slow chugs that turn your skull into a fine powder. Not really a style I listen to very often, but these guys are definitely masters of the heavy powerviolence art. Do not skip.

Rating: 7.5/10

I remember posting about Cheap Art a while ago as a Bandcamp Artist Of The Week, so I'm very happy to see that they got the record label treatment for their next EP. "Desocialized" is 10 minutes of pure fuck off fastcore, and the band sounds as fierce and and as loud as ever! Now backed by a new
singer (male/female tradeoff), the vocals are fantastically overblown and distorted, but that's about the only gruff thing about this recording. The band sounds much more full and bassier this time around, everything is just bigger and better, and fast as fuck. This band goes off the walls ballistic with their blast parts, like a freight train carrying nitroglycerin going mach 3. But that's not to say that this record isn't also full of tasty riffs and brutal slow passages. Class stuff, definitely one of the best fastcore records I've heard this year, and one that I play often.

Rating: 8.5/10

I'm real happy to see that this record finally came out. We here in the OG headquarters have been fans and supporters of Chulo for a long time, and they have been nothing but kind and supportive right back (their ex-vocalist Oscar even did the art for OG Vol. 2)! Plans for this split kick started over a year ago,
and finally, we have this excellent slab of wax available! Chulo are up first, pulling a Six Brew Bantha and starting off with a pulled back, rawwwww recording, before kicking into the actual well recorded part. The band has always sounded good, and this split is no exception. Solid, ripping grindviolence in the veins of Insect Warfare and Assück, with a little 90's Agathocles and maybe some Canadian fastcore a'la Obacha thrown in the mix for good measure. Lots of really good riffs, solid song writing, a great snare tone that's louder then anything else in the mix (I dig it). While I definitely say Chulo are the winners of this split, Marion Barry's side is a worthy companion. Never really dug this band to heavily, but for what they do, it's good. Noisy powerviolence stuff with lots of screeching power electronic samples and tons of movie clips that are actually pretty amusing ("I'm bout to go from ashy, to classy). They definitely lean on the goofier side of things, mostly in their lyrics, which is totally fine and dandy, but I've yet to be blown away by anything they do. Good split!!

Rating: 7/10

You can pick up all these records, and more, from Hygiene Records. Full support!!!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Water Torture/Corrupt Bastards - Split Review

I don't normally review re-issues, but there a couple factors that play into why I'm posting about this particular record. For one, because it's fucking Water Torture and Corrupt Bastards. And 2, because a thousand apologies to Mannequin Rein Productions owner/Dead Church guitarist/all around cool guy Maxx for not getting to this when it was first released as a tape. My bad duder. Anyways, for whatever reason any of you passed over this particular Water Torture release, you should definitely take a few steps back and check again because this one definitely goes down as one of my top splits from the band so far. Short short short split, previously released as a limited tape (as previously mentioned), now taking up one whole side of a 7" record. Water Torture bring 2 tracks to the table; one original and a cover of the classic Siege track, "Walls". The first track is pretty standard WT material, blasting powerviolence dual bass assaults with a pretty nice breakdown at the end, but the Siege cover is in my opinion the real gem. They have completely reworked the song into a two minute sludge piece with level 10 face to floor power. Totally crushing stuff, the boys continue to impress. On the flip side Up next we have Corrupt Bastards, the Texas two-piece who bring their own style of drum/bass powerviolence with 5 intense tracks. They keep it short and sweet on their end, lose focus for even a couple seconds and you'll miss a ton. The band maintains a more traditional fastcore/violence approach, like if Spazz or Lack of Interest scrapped their guitar player, and they perform the style very well. Brutal, gruff vocals and neck snapping start and stop song writing, held together by catchy as hell riffs and slamming drums. I loved every song on here, shame to see this band be so inactive. The tape version of this split is long sold out (sorry collectors), but you can find the sexy new vinyl version in tons of distros nowadays. Bass power 4 lyfe.

Rating: 9/10


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Abuse. - "A New Low" Review

North Carolina sure has some interesting stuff brewing in it's central regions lately. And it just so happens that two of the states products that I'm most excited for go hand in hand   with each other! Hygiene Records, a new-ish DIY fast jams label (owned and operated by Priapus frontman Jordan Noe) who in it's modest several months of existence, has already built up quite a catalog. One of the first records under the Hygiene name is the debut EP from fellow North Carolinians,  Abuse. (spelled with a period) A band that seemingly popped out of no where into the underground's consciousness, despite having little to no buzz about their demo prior. Fortunately though, more and more people seem to be taking notice to them, because rest assured, you're probably hard pressed to find a more solid hardcore/powerviolence (hardviolence?) EP then "A New Low". This EP is like the punch in the face that knocks you back on your ass, but gets your adrenaline going so much that you say "bring it on,". Right from the second that the band kicks in on the opening track, "Bible Belt", a crushingly rough recording, perfectly intense brick to the stomach drumming, clanging bass, and rabid bulldog vocals blast this record into mach 2. This is fast hardcore executed perfectly, and it doesn't hurt that Abuse. know how to construct a brilliantly enjoyable song. Every track on here is a winner, each one chock full of catchy and pulverizing riffs with breakdowns. They magically managed to keep enough of the old-school influence, but still sound excited and not tired. In a nutshell, "A New Low" pretty much nails everything I look for in a good powerviolence record, and anyone looking for a new release to jam and hype the fuck up, it's this one. Fans of bands like Vaccine, Suffer, and Extortion should definitely take note. And while your at it, check out the ripping new track from their upcoming To Live A Lie released full length. NCHC at its finest. 

Rating: 9.5/10

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