Sunday, October 5, 2014

+HIRS+/Water Torture - Split Review

It's been far to long since I've talked about +HIRS+. Certainly not due to the Philly outfits lack of productivity. It seems every week they have another split tape, record, lathe cut, wax cylinder, whatever coming out. Mostly been sticking with bands close to their own home to split with (APE!, Bubonic Bear, Cocaine Breath, etc), but the very highly anticipated split 7" with Buffalo's Water Torture (which I believe was first announced sometime last year), was finally released a couple months ago to the hungry consumers. Very interesting formatting with this split, one that I really haven't seen before. +HIRS+ start this unholy wax disc off with their new anthem "Fuck Everything", entering with chaotic blasts into a power-stomping bass break. They've really become utter masters at writing incredibly captivating short songs, the +HIRS+ way. You can pretty much listen to any single track on this record and totally understand what this band is trying to do. It just shows that tremendous effort and engineering went into making these songs, at least to me. Since the Bubonic Bear split, +HIRS+ have just sounded incredible, and this records no different. Loud, punching drums, more thunderous bass, layers of intense vocals, it's an excellent display of sound. +HIRS+ give a five song assault before slithering into Water Torture's contribution, in a segue that had me tweaked out for a few seconds. I was curious to see what WT would be toying around with on here, and in a very interesting move they've done a throwback to the raw, micro song template from the split with thedowngoing. Distant, rumbling static looms and transitions these songs, again very raw and basement-noisecore sounding. It's a style that's I find very interesting and sometimes astounding if it's done well, but Water Torture's take on it this time falls just a little bit short. All of these nine tracks sound like little cut n' paste remixes of already existing WT songs, trying to combine both of their biggest elements in a mere few seconds. Entering with a slow, tom-hit riff and then a few more seconds of blasting and vocals. Then more noise. Wouldn't be a problem, but basically none of these tracks stick out for any reason besides then being jarringly short. The two tracks that do the best job with this restricted songwriting style, "Not-Seen" and "Populous" are great, but again leave me wanting more. Thankfully not leaving me stranded and craving more noise, +HIRS+ come back again after Water Torture ceases with four more powerful tracks. The chug monster, "A Very Long List Of Men To Kill" acting as a ground-punching wake up. This "B-side" has +HIRS+ showing off some of their slowest passages and best riffs of the whole record. Closing out with the two of the real highlight  tracks, "Amputated Littered Hand" and "Bong Water Torture". A real proper ending if you ask me. It's good to see with bands toying around with stuff even as simple as track placement. This split has had a lot of hold-ups and setbacks in it's conception. Hopefully everyone has got their copies now. If you don't, I believe it's sold out.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Listen To HYGIENE Right Now!

It's that time of the month again. Time to gush over another new Australian band that came out of no where and give powerviolence another swift kick in the butt cheeks. HYGIENE from Canberra, who have actually been around at least since late 2012, are a power trio who deliver some seriously hardcore Vaccine worshipping jams. The Human Hatred attitude runs strong through this bands bright blue veins, it's honestly some of the most well done and faithful rip off  homage to that style that I've heard.

HYGIENE's first EP, "Histone H4" was a semi-rough sounding debut that was already very inspired by the sound of bands like Vaccine, and I could definitely hear a little bit of later Backslider influence in their too. A solid release for sure, but a little lacking on the urgent, blasting performance (in layman's terms, some songs were too long). Their recently released 7" EP, "VOID", takes care of that problem and lays down a fantastically solid 7 and a half minutes of rapid hatred. Improving tenfold on nearly every level on here; the fist flinging blasts are more shoulder popping, the breakdowns are power stompingly groovy, and more vicious and catchy. This band will be one of Australia's elite bands if they keep this up. I do know a deadly split with another brilliant Melbourne powerviolence band is in the works, but it might still be on the hush hush. Stream "VOID" below, and hear the rest of the bands recordings HERE. Pick up a record while you're at it too, they are sure to not last long.


Fuck The Facts: New EP, New Songs, New Label!

Some of my favorite Canadians are at it again and are going to blow the beginning of Autumn to billions of pieces when their new EP drops on October 1st. I don't think I have to re-familiarize many of you with my affection for this band. One of the best and tightest bands I've had the pleasure of seeing live, and they haven't put out a single dud record in the past decade. The two currently released tracks from their upcoming EP, "Abandoned", do absolutely nothing to get in the way of that streak. These three new songs were originally written for the 2011 album "Die Miserable", but for whatever reason were cut from the batch. Now reworked, re-re-recorded and polished to perfection. 

"Disabused", the 2nd track on "Abandoned", is Fuck The Facts at some of their craziest and tech-heavy. In true "Die Miserable" fashion. Dissonant chord rhythms and eerie/Gorguts-y tapping riffs swarm and carry this whole track, and it's seriously fucking heavy. FtF really haven't sounded this "metal" so consistently in a while, and it carries over into the third and final track, "L'impasse". A song that seems to tell me that they've been listening to a ton of bands like Wormed lately. The way it descends and breaks down, and the incredible harmonics and guitar frapps and buzzes scream insane technical deathy metal. Of course while they seamlessly interject their trademark melodic side. I know I say this with every new Fuck the Facts release, but they really just keep getting better and better. 

And on the last and equally exciting note, the band has officially and completely made themselves a total autonomous and DIY unit by starting their own label, Noise Salvation Records. Of which "Abandoned" will be the first release in a limited run of 100 tapes and digital download. These guys have always had a real thing for doing as much of the business side of this band themselves, and I think that this is a very bold and righteous move for them. Especially considering they had the major label backings of Relapse less then 5 years ago. Just goes to show I guess. If you can do it yourself, do it yourself. "Abandoned" is up for pre-order now (click HERE), and you can stream both of the new tracks below. 

Stream "Disabused": HERE


Ampallang Infection/Universal Remonster - "Universal Infection" Split Tape

From the epic bowels of Maryland spewith forth a split cassette from two of the states rising bands. Universal Remonster, a band I remember seeing a rather colorful album cover from on Grindcore Karaoke however long ago, do a fantastic job kicking this split off and proceed to kill it throughout the rest of their featured time. This is loud, crunchy, instantly enjoyable grindcore. Stuff that's totally not grim or up it's own ass, but sounds like it could beat yours into a pasty mush. UR tastefully show a lot of the inspirations most modern grind bands use. Some Magrudergrind, a little to a lot of Phobia, for example. But with a touch bit of death metal thrown in the mix, mostly due to the vocals. Actually they sound a lot like fellow Marylandians, Triac. The thick, mid-heavy bassy tone is very akin to that bands most recent stuff. I like this band a good deal now! Ampallang Infection are up next, bringing their own style and interpretation of grind. In a much shorter and tighter package. Heavy drum machine abuse grindcore, and not the Drum Kit from Hell kind either. The kind where the drums are unashamedly industrial and processed sounding (just think of early ANb). I've always been a big fan of taking advantage of how ridiculous and warped you can get using a drum machine (again, ANB), and AI do get to ludicrous speeds sometimes, but they dwell in a pretty interesting realm. Very Cryptic Yeast/Total Fucking Destruction-y, with a lot more melodic riffs, death metal vocals, and a general do-whatever-we-want style that I'm digging. The only real issue I have being that some of the songs seems pretty under developed. In that there's not many good conclusions to these songs, they just kind of end. Thankfully this is resolved with the last two tracks, which along with feeling more complete have some of the best and most interesting sounds on their whole side. Good stuff! Cassette copies are for sale over at Grimoire Records.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Full Of Hell's Spencer Hazard On Noise In Hardcore and Some Essential Listens

Hardcore and all it's various interpretations and evolutions is surely no stranger to weird, obnoxious, noisy sounds. To me, noise is and has been a logical progression from the standards of aggressive "musical" music. A bastardization if you will, a rebellion towards the rebellion. Something that early extreme experimental groups like Whitehouse and Throbbing Gristle made their mission statement. It doesn't take a genius to see that noise has made a serious comeback in the hardcore/grind/powerviolence that we listen too. One of the biggest recent forerunners of incorporating
noise in their music is Full Of Hell. A band that has over the years made their noise and more experimental side almost as important as the guitar Mr. Hazard uses. FoH are right on the cusp of releasing a full on collaborative album with legendary Japanoise artist Merzbow, with a bonus second disc of just noise (2xCD will be released by Profound Lore records and the vinyl will be released by A389 and Stab/Repeat November 25th). Guitar player Spencer Hazard was gracious enough to give me his 2 cents how these sounds are utilized in aggressive music today, and gives some essential listens for those who are still new to the genre of NOISE.


Recently I was asked by Operation Grindcore to write about how I felt about noise music making its way into more hardcore oriented stlyes of music. Frankly despite me being in a band that relies on noise heavily, I do have a love/hate relationship with the resurgence of bands utilizing it in recent years. I mean noise making its way into other underground music is obviously nothing new at all. Look at the bands that were part of the punk scene, groups like Whitehouse,Throbbing Gristle and NON all started out being tagged with the term. No Wave artists such as Swans and Sonic Youth also disoriented punks in the early 80's. In the 90's bands such as Man is the Bastard, Gasp and Integrity, who were all made up of hardcore kids and punks, took these roots and melded them into their own hardcore bands. Dwid from Integrity even had two power electronics groups back in the day featuring members of the powerviolence band APT 213, Lockweld and Psywarfare. Man is the Bastard even had their own all electronic project Bastard Noise.  Dwid would also use his influence to spread noise to other parts of the underground by booking influential Japanese noise artists Merzbow and Masonna on some of their first US shows. There are also more examples of other bands in recent years taking noise influence and incorporating it into their sound such as The Endless Blockade/Column of Heaven, Water Torture, Eel and a plethora of other grindcore/powerviolence bands blending different influences.This leads me to why I said earlier that I had a love/hate relationship with bands taking these influences. This may be the elitist in me but I feel like a lot of newer bands only take this influence from more recent and popular bands rather than digging deeper into the roots of the noise genre. Too many kids just grab a distortion pedal and a delay and claim to have noise influence after checking out the Man is the Bastard/Crossed Out split. Not enough people are digging and taking influence from stuff like SPK, Nurse with Wound or Hanatarash, or even newer experimental/industrial/power electronics artists such as Prurient, The Rita, Pharmakon or Deathpile. So before you go off calling me an elitist prick, internet poser or asshole nerd, all I'm trying to say is kids should expose themselves to a whole variety of influences and music, especially noise. I still think its great people are trying to expand and destroy boundaries. There is already too much of the same mundane, formulaic music, but don't make an exotic influence a boring and formulaic style. Noise is experimental, so experiment, be creative!

Essential listens:

Merzbow- "Dharma". Released on the imprint of influential label Hydra Head, HHNoise Industries, this is probably some of Merzbow's most focused work. Still using his signature techniques but also
including more memorable loops and rhythms, creating a more enjoyable and less testing listen.

Prurient - "Pleasure Ground". This is probably some of the most trying and emotional noise ever recorded. Not only is it a painful experience sonically, you can truly hear the anguish in his voice as he screams depressed and sexually deprived lyrics. This release also combines some truly unique keyboard work found in his later years mixed with his walls of ear piercing feedback.

Whitehouse - "Birdseed". An uncomfortable listen all around. Using their signature shock values and focusing them more. Utilizing Peter Sotos tape loops and samples plus mixing it with their classic 'Wasp' keyboards, it is truly a bizarre album. This release also features the track "Cut Hands Has the Solution" which consists of nothing but pounding drums and
distorted vocals, giving the album more variety compared to some of their other work.

Wolf Eyes - "Burned Mind". Released on the same label that has released albums from such bands as the Shins, Nirvana and Soundgarden, Sub Pop. This is the period in which a noise group became part of 00's alternative culture. This album combines harsh screams, walls of distortion, blown-out guitars
and other instrumentation, almost giving this album a hard rock feel. Memorable vocals and "riffs" make this album stand out in their extensive catalog.

Throbbing Gristle - "20 Jazz Funk Greats". Marketed as a jazz album in the 70s, listeners were totally taken off guard when they were exposed to distorted keyboards, sound collages, drum loops and
moaned vocals. A lot less noisy then other albums on this list, but just as, if not more important. Truly wreckers of civilization.

~Spencer Hazard

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bandcamp Artist Of The Week: Coffin Birth

Australia's "capital B" Brutal grindcore catalog is on a huge high in 2014, starting with Internal Rot's incredible "Mental Hygiene", and Coffin Birth trailing right along side with their new EP, "Necrotic Liquefaction". This is some real deal deathgrind right here, with a shit ton of Insect Warfare appreciation in tow, "Necrotic Liquefaction" is 10 minutes of grindfuk brilliance. This is some of the loudest and hardest grindcore I've heard this year, they've captured an absolutely crippling sound. Nothing in spared in the wake of this band's songs, perfectly blending in strong death metal sounds, particularly in the vocals. Refreshingly avoiding a lot of the stereotypical "creepy doom" parts or cartoony gore stuff usually associated with this style. As stated, Insect Warfare fans take note. Anyone into BrucexCampbell, Internal Rot must peep this as well. This EP is currently only a name-your-price download, and it must not stay that way. Someone join the support and put this on some much deserved wax!


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bandcamp Artists Of The Week: Snuff & Kaiju Daisenso

The bloated music hive that is Bandcamp has been saturated with a muck of  disasterous looking photoshopped album art and one-man bedroom grind projects lately. More bands named after random celebrities then I can count. Most of my perusals have began in vain this past year, but a few shining diamonds in the rough have peeked through. The most recent one being Snuff from Los Angeles. Not sure how many other "Snuff's" there are out there, but I haven't heard one that sounds like this! This is brutal west coast blasturbation giving to you with 100% no bullshit. Their most recent EP, "Slow Life Quick Death" is solid grind excellence. The attention grabbing groove intro is done well, showing off the lo-fi and distorted recording well, and then boom, blasting insanity for the next 10 minutes. If you like Nak'ay, Insect Warfare or Internal Rot, you'll dig Snuff.

I'm a sucker for anything Godzilla, so ya' throw some grindcore into the mix and you're pretty much guaranteed to have a mad decent thing going. Kaiju Daisenso is a NY trio featuring ex-members of many bands according to their bandcamp page, the only one I recognize being Unearthly Trance. Their first s/t EP is bit of a mixed bag of grind. You got some thrash riffs, some melodic leads, some early ANb tempo blasts, and Garageband drums!! I recognize those programmed sounds anywhere. It's some pretty interesting stuff, I don't really hear grind of this style very often. And it's cool as hell to listen to a song called "Monster Zero One". My nerdy side digs that a lot. If you like early Triac, Sick/Tired and maybe even Drugs Of Faith, check this out. A 7" version is also available on their bandcamp page.


New Water Torture LP - "Pillbox" and Song for Streaming!

The undeniable powerviolence champions of the modern age are coming back again with another tectonic wave of masterful brutality. Now making the big boy steps from their favored 7" format to full length 12"s. Three of them actually! The 12" discography collection which was released earlier this year by Mannequin Rein was only the begging. Two new separate LP's are also set to be released; an as of yet untitled project for To Live A Lie Records (so happy they teamed up). And the soon to be unveiled "Pillbox", brought to us by cult grind label Nerve Altar Records. To say the boys have been busy would be a dastardly understatement. 

As you can see, there is already artwork above. Nerve Altar seems about as giddy and excited to get this record out as we are about listening to it. A steady stream of updates have been coming in, and the big 'ol cherry on top was a new track for streaming called "Fourth Stage". Excellent track, which certainly shouldn't be surprising. The tribal drum patterns opening the song were a refreshing sound for the band, and they're really gone back to that murky, thick, sludgy production akin to their first EP. No Water Torture song would be complete without a sternum crushingly heavy slow part, and they pull out all the cool pauses and breaks on the one here. And are those some Trogotronic blips and bloops I hear at the end? I'd bet money it is. Excellent stuff, I can not wait to hear this entire LP. Stream the track below, and check out more stuff from Nerve Altar and Mannequin Rein as well. 


The New Iron Lung 7" Sounds Amazing

Iron Lung are really in no position to prove anything to anybody, their status as one of the top powerviolence bands going right now is pretty set in stone. A duo that has stayed comfortably with their own signature sound, but are not afraid to step outside of it and elaborate on the formula just a bit. Take their last full-length LP, "White Glove Test", for example. A double-magnum opus of synchronized hardcore and industrial noise (on two separate records if you picked up the special addition), was an ambitious effort, but one that was lost on me unfortunately. To me if felt like a ton of the excellent song-writing and even a bit of the aggression was drowned out on that record, it was just an in one ear-out the other listening experience. 

But from the two songs that I've heard from their new EP, "Savagery", Iron Lung seem to have stripped away any hint of playing around for a straight arrow, full on attack mode record. These tracks sound mean, really mean. A reply to the the rampant stupidity of the world manifested in a focused session of making the most savage songs they could, on purpose. The description on the Iron Lung Records bandcamp says everything I need to hear for me to become fully on board with this release. Twelve songs, 6 minutes, some crazy artwork and packaging (to be revealed), and some ruthless jams. Could this become one of my favorite Iron Lung records? I'm leaning towards yes, but boy am I eager to find out for sure. 

"Savagery" is set to be released in August on Iron Lung Records. Stream the two new songs from it down below.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lack Of Interest/Bastard Noise - Split 12" Review

Honestly, the only reason I haven't posted about this record is because I thought that I already did. Better late then never, right? Besides, I take any chance I get to talk about either of these bands. I remember when I first heard about this EPIC pairing of west coast OG's, a couple years ago, it was like a dream come true. This seems like it should have been a classic 90's Slap-A-Ham or Deep Six release, and the news of it's development had fans/nerds like me jittering in our patched-up denim shorts. This fantastic split was finally released at the tail end of 2013, and was well worth the wait. Bastard Noise give us four new tracks, which were recorded after the loss of founding drummer Joel Connell. Loosing a long-time member like that seems pretty detrimental, but they recruited none other then Richard Hoak to step up behind the skins! If you've ever seen or heard Mr. Hoak tear up a drum set, you know you're in for some insane shit, and I couldn't wait to hear what his sporadic style would lend to BN's sound. Though his performance here truth be told, is actually pretty reserved and down-tempo. Which in retrospect was a bit disappointing to hear at first, but he flows with Mr. Wood's progressive hardcore sludge trotting riffs appropriately. I guess I was expecting more of a total fucking grind mayhem influence, but the trademark SKULL sound remains strong and intact, like there was no change at all really. Things do pick up a bit after the seven and a half minute opener, venturing into jazzy grooves and more visceral tempos. The closing track, "The Time Shifter", is a real highlight. It's a ruthless lil' jam featuring some excellent vocals from Mitchell Luna of Maruta. Him and Aimée's pull off a lovely duet of brutality, and it's an excellent way to end their side. Aimée and Wood seem a lot more balanced in the vocal department on here as well. No one seems to dominate the recording here. Some of Bastard Noise's brightest sounding and focused "musical" material so far. Lack Of Interest's side is just downright perfection. I'll say it once and I'll say it again, this band has done absolutely nothing wrong in their whole existence. The twelve tracks on here do nothing to break that streak, the guys just flat out rip your soul a new one here. The band has maintained a trademark sound that still sounds fresh and full of life, and they still pull it off masterfully. It's just like '99-era LoI stepped through a time portal into 2013 and recorded some tracks they had to spare. Not a drop of intensity, self loathing, or grumpiness has been lost. It's crazy to me how this band can still seem somewhat underrated, especially when they're STILL putting out powerviolence of this quality. Perfect band. Great split. If you haven't picked this up yet I'm not sure what your malfunction is.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

From The Ashes of Obacha, Rises Throat Slitter

This year practically kicked off with one of my favorite fast bands throwing in the towel. The almighty Squamish fastcore unit Obacha played their last show on January 4th. Thus leaving a gaping void in the Canadian grind arsenal that I feared would not be properly refilled for quite a while. 

That is until I got word of a new band, that was actually comprised of mostly ex-Obacha members. A 'lil group called Throat Slitter. Needless to say I was thrilled by the news, and awaited the arrival of any recordings from them. They finally released their debut demo early this month, and not only filled that void, but practically consumed everything else in the wake of it's arrival. Throat Slitter's demo is an incredible progression and enhancement of what Obacha laid out. This is modern fastcore at some of it's best and most aggressive. Taking the breakneck speed and frenetic shifts of Obacha's song craft, and surpassing it. The precision and agility at which these guys play grind is truly jaw dropping, and blood racing. Utilizing a less-bright instrumental tone and some seriously tough vocal swappage. It's some of the tightest grind I've heard in 2014, even with the lo-fi recording. I've been calling Throat Slitter "The Canadian SFN", a comparison that I feel is pretty justafiable. But I won't even front when I say that this could easily stand up against most of that bands catalog. My favorite demo of 2014, with out a doubt. I strongly urge everyone to pick this up. Tapes are floating around somewhere, and I hear they're teaming up with Opaques Records for a 7" of some sort. Take some serious notes. 


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Detroit/thedowngoing - Split Cassette Review

Man, what an awesome split. Can we give a collective round of applause to the always on point Hygiene Records, for throwing down the dough for this excellent pairing of two super overlooked bands? Starting off with Detroit. A rawasfuk, grinding fastcore trio from Canada that's as mean and intense as the city they're named after. These guys have always had a pretty solid and consistent output of quality tunes, and their side is no different. This time going for more of a straight-up fastcore style then usual, with tons of Spazz-ish barks and going to almost Quattro Stagioni tempos. It's a pretty unrelenting assault, made all the more powerful by the screeching, clanging, grinding-sheet-metal guitar tone and machine gun snare hits. No faults here with Detroit's side, at all. And what an excellent return for Australia's best noisy grinders, thedowngoing! Though I will say that if you're going in expecting the same kind of sound they had on "ATHOUSANDYEARSOFDARKNESS" or their split with Water Torture, you might be a little disappointed. The recording here is much more clean and polished, and they've done away with pretty much any vocal effects. Something that would normally spell disaster for a band who have stuck with a certain sound for basically their whole existence. But you know, to me, it isn't even an issue. Because thedowngoing are still writing some tremendous riffs and songs, no matter how smothered in noise they may or may not be. They take the discordant style of grinding and make it all their own, which is something I've always given them props for. Thedowngoing actually create captivating and powerful songs, instead of just taking the usual "noisegrind piss". Which is still great, and a style that I very much like as well, but they surpass it. Creating a sound that has me clinging to each second their side plays. I love this split. Stream it down below!

Pick up a copy of the tape over at Hygiene Records: HERE


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stream Two New False Light Tracks! They're Back!

South Carolina finally gave us something really great two years ago, when a little band called False Light emerged from the muck and graced us with some of the gnarliest, filthy powerviolence to come out that year. They firmly planted their foot down and made their presence known in the underground with their debut "S/T' EP (later reissued as a 7" by Dead Chemist and Headfirst! Records). And if you're like me, you've been sitting pretty and waiting patiently for any talk or samples of new material from these guys to come up on the internet. Desperately hoping that False Light was not just a "one-record-then-break-up" band. Well I am very happy to say that now, after two years, the boys are coming back with a new 7" EP entitled "Forced By Flame"! Teaming up again with Headfirst Records! for the pressing, this new EP will be a thirteen song, thirteen minute distortion orgy of powerblasting destruction, and are now streaming two of them on CVLT Nation! I'm delighted to say that False Light really have stuck with the sound that attracted me to them, and these songs fucking bring the pain!. The only sort of polish you'll hear on these songs are the drums and vocals, which are practically swallowed by the tidal waves of bass and guitar beef. No easy listening here, just carnage.  I'm so happy that I'm able to write about these excellent dudes again! "Forced By Flame" is tentatively scheduled to come out this summer, I'll be keeping up as close as I can with updates. Check out the new songs HERE.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

In Disgust/SFN - Split Review

I honestly can't believe I'm finally getting to review this record. FINALLY, after years 
of far to little updates, record plant qualms, etc. The long awaited split 1-sided 7" between SFN and In Disgust is out and available to purchase, and I finally get to review an In Disgust record! Man, I remember reading about this split a few years ago on the Drugged Conscience label site. Back then it was going to be a 5", and all it said that it was coming out soon, no other details. I believe this was after I was still healing from the soul crushing news of their break-up, so I was excited as can be! The thought of new material, even after disbanding warmed my heart. On top of that, they would be sharing wax with the incredible SFN! 

In Disgust are a band that has over the past several years become widely accepted and loved by grind fans around the globe. A simple power trio from San Jose who created some of the most beastly and crushing grindcore I've ever heard from 2006-2010. I don't think I have to introduce the infamous "Reality Choke" 10" to any of you, or get into explaining the fucking masterpiece that it is. Seriously, it's in my top 5 favorite grindcore records ever. To this day, I still get that I-wanna-destroy-something feeling when I listen to it. It hasn't lost a drop of it's intensity in the 6+ years since it's release. Though it was a record that they never really managed to top in my opinion. They came close with their side of their split 12" with PLF, but then called it quits in 2010. Laying any chance they had to outdo themselves to rest. But now we have this split, reconfigured as a single sided 7", featuring almost a minute and a half of new In Disgust material. 

So I've been listening to it over and over and over again, and each time I keep having the same thoughts: What the fuck is going on here?! What is this? What happened? Did all of them just get the most insane fetishes for microsongs and feedback? Or an overpowering OCD phobia of writing songs with more then two riffs? Or even writing songs in general? Need I remind you that this is the recorded comeback of one of the best bands in modern grind, and their final conclusion was to put four songs to wax and have half of it be feedback? That's seriously what's on here, there is an equal amount of feedback to actual music. And no, it's not just because they were given a short amount of space for split, this is just lazy songwriting. I have no idea when this recording session actually took place (it was at least before 2013), but this shouldn't be acceptable for any release from a band of this caliber.  It's like they were just given half an hour of studio time available and came up with stuff on the spot! I'm shocked that the same band who gave us "To Live A Lie" settled with "Sketch" (one second of blast, four open string hits, 2 more second of blast, end). Oh please, say it isn't so that the band that wrote "Cali Smile" also put out "Steel Trap" (a 30 second instrumental with one riff). Matt's incredible growl vocals aren't even here, come on! To me this is just a huge middle finger to anyone that waited for this record. I was not expecting just the sheer amount of laziness or lack of ambition that smothers these tracks. This is In Disgust we're talking about, they have it in them to do so much better then this. Fortunately, the SFN tracks are definitely no disappointment. This sadly broken up Wisconsin grind trio bring three posthumous tracks to the table, and they proudly display everything I love about this band. Incredibly tight and frenzied songwriting with much more colorful and inventive riffs and drumming then fast bands normally use. SFN waste no time ripping everything apart on their "side"; riffs and snare rolls fly out at warp speed under some genuinely aggro sounding vocals. Here more then ever, SFN sound to me like an excellent hybrid of Sidetracked and Iron Lung. SFN are masters of that herky-jery/stop-start songwriting style, but still manage to be heavy, gritty sounding. Using lots of dissonance and sudden tempo shifts for extra beef. On top of that, this is the best recording they've ever had. This here, is a good way to go out. So in the end, I guess at least one band came out of this a winner. And It seems that In Disgust have broken up yet again, so yeah, I guess that's it. Bada boom. Not a way to great way to go out for good,  Listen to "Reality Choke".

Rating: 5/10


New Phobia 7" EP To Be Released! Gee, Wonder What It Will Sound Like.

West Coast grindcore legends in the flesh, Phobia, are spearheading what I'm sure will be one of several releases for 2014. One of the longest running and most consistent bands in grindcore, almost reaching 25 years of existence. Phobia always have been a band that I can rely on to supply me with a very solid, easy to get into bunch of songs with every release. It's a tried and true formula of just 100% no bullshit grindcore that they've stuck with through it all. So why not just cut to the chase, drop any bits of pretense they had to begin with, and just flat out call your new EP "Grind Core"? That's "Grind (space) Core". Not even gonna give this title any shit. It's fucking Phobia, I can give them a pass this kind of stuff. Need I remind you that this is a band that's put out records called "Grind Your Fucking Head In" and "Loud Proud And Grind As Fuck". "Grind Core" seems totally fitting at this point. Honestly, I'm excited to hear this. Phobia really have been doing some quality work lately. Their last record, "Remnants Of Filth" was excellent, and I've enjoyed all their recent splits. I'd bet money that this record also features the guitar wizardry of Mr. Dorian Rainwater and either Danny Walker or Bryan Fajardo on the skins (can't go wrong with either). "Grind Core" will be released on Deep Six Records sooner then later I assume. No release date or any songs have been posted yet. There also seems to be talk of a full-length as well, we'll see what comes of that. And in addition, Willowtip Records will be reissuing remastered versions of "Means Of Existence" and the "Destroying The Masses" EP. I think I remember seeing on the Jesus Crøst Facebook page that they're doing a split 7" with Phobia too, damn right!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

INTHESHIT/Priapus - Split Review

I had heard of this splits inception quite a while ago, and I was worried that It would never see the light of day. Mostly due to Give Praise Record's (the label responsible for this release) recent interesting and almost complete 180 from releasing grind/fastcore, to putting out mostly weird thrash and oversea's punk rawk this last year. I was beginning to think that one of my favorite labels would never be the same again, and even more unfortunately, that the records that I had heard were coming out would never see the light of day. Thankfully, you can't keep this kind of grind down, and Give Praise is back on track and the fabled INTHESHIT/Priapus split is finally released. Boston's INTHESHIT are a group that I honestly haven't heard much from since I got their "King Of The Grindcore Jungle" tape back in 2012 or something. Three songs this time around, and my first time hearing their new singer. Who replaced the Jon Chang-esque vocals of "KotGJ" with more of a tuff, Ion Dissonance/Lack of Interest style. In a state who's biggest musical export right now seems to be unapologetic 80's/90's worshipping hardcore, it's not hard to see why this kind of delivery permeated the group. INTHESHIT have a massive sound on here, churning waves of guitars riffs and booming drums tumble and stampede over each other all over their side. It's a frenzied, flurried 3-song helping of punishing grind, but unfortunately they never seem to quite lock in together as a unit on here. Outside of a few slower breakdowns, the rest of this just sounds loose and not together. Not in a very charming way either. You know when you accidentally play a 45 RPM record at 33 RPM and the music sounds sort of bloated and stretched, it's kind of like that. It's not outright unenjoyable, but not something I can see myself returning too very often. Which makes the technical brutality of Priapus's 2-song contribution all the more explosive. Priapus, as you all should already know, are one of the most underrated grindcore bands going at this very moment. Some of the best stuff I label "tech-grind" around; crushingly heavy, tight, expertly recorded and mastered, and with Maruta, Pig Destroyer and Malignancy influences displayed proudly on their sleeves. OG actually debuted the opening track from their side "Adversus", on our site a while ago, and it's as awesome a track now as it was back then. Mach 3 gravity blasts and matching guitar noodling with a crushing, groovy breakdown riff towards the end, and some very nice vocal variations. The next track, "Failure Addict", and almost 3 minute riff machine track, full of colorful harmonics, and double bass that makes a jackhammer seem slow. Priapus are a great band for this kind of style, mainly due to their great song craft and chemistry as players. With most grind like this, it just seems like a bunch of dudes just trying to right stupidly complex music. Priapus on the other hand, while still being incredibly technical, still makes their songs stick out. Every vocal "bleah!", growl or scream seems to be thought out, and the guitars and drums compliment each other the same way Brian and Scott did in Pig Destroyer. Each instrument grooves together and helps make the other more impactful. Rest assured, I won't be surprised with Willowtip or Relapse snatches them up. Listen to the whole split here and be sure to buy the vinyl at Give Praise Records.

Rating: 7.5/10


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gripe - "In His Image" Review

Operation Grindcore has had a long, mutually supportive and overall great relationship with Athen, GA's Gripe. One of the first bands I remember Andrew hyping me up on were these guys, and the support that we've maintained for each other over the last few years has been solid. So it's with a bit of sentimental proudness that I am happy to be finally reviewing their first (and sadly last) full length LP, "In His Image". A team-release effort from Hygiene and Witch Bukkake Records. With the return of their original singer DJ back on the mic. And this really does feel like a really excellent throwback to their first release, "The Future Doesn't Need You". Gripe's attack and message are clear, right from the Dystopia influenced opener "7 Billion Reasons Not To Reproduce". These guys got a bone to pick with quite a few people and corporate entities. Chances are they don't like you, and their gonna yell about it, a lot. A great return from DJ's shredded vocals!! I hope he didn't spit out a couple throat chunks after some of these takes. Lot's of varied vocals from high screams, growls, crusty barks and throaty wretches. All pissed, all in your ears. This is some excellent blast beaten hatred, by far their best and fullest recording too. It's a powerful recording, but they've maintained every bit of their raw, crusty sound. I guess a modern comparison would be the last few Sick/Tired EP's, that should give you some idea. Gripe always had this great collection of influences in their music, "In His Image" is no different. The strong Pig Destroyer and Assück sounds are still their, a few more dissonant riffs for some extra flavor. With some very good use's of slower tracks, particularly the closing track, "Snowden". I really appreciate when a grind band takes some time and tries to make the obligatory "slow closing track" a little more different. This track has a great dissolve from beastly dissonant grind into an excellent, layered slow dirge that end's on a seemingly unfinished note. A possible wishful sign that the band will maybe someday get back for a second and give us some new tunes. More grindcore psalms of anger as we get deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of this confusing world please! Excellent album, and a great finale for a great band. Listen to the record here. And you can pick up the limited edition "dead cop" splatter vinyl here as well as kick as records from Lifes, Short Walk, Beg, Abuse. and more!

Rating: 8.5/10


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Seriously, Check Out This Vinyl Repress Of Caged Grave's Demo

Caged Grave were a band that I posted about at the tail end of 2013, regarding their excellent debut demo. They showcased some quality Vaccine-ish sounding fast hardcore with a more modern, HM-2 pedal abuse sound. Great stuff that I got hooked on instantly, and they were promptly added to the ever growing list of excellent Australian bands.  Functioning on a pure DIY work ethic, Caged Grave have so far recorded, produced, and released everything they've put out themselves. And if this self-released 7" re-release of said demo is any indication to the care, attention to detail and quality output for the future, then watch the fuck out. My particular copy was given to me very graciously by the band, a thousand thank you's.

(Photo's by VII)

The boys really went all out on the packaging with this one. Solid black vinyl with a large center label, and a flipping silk-screened box envelope to encase it. It's a super tidy, neat and honestly, very deluxe looking package. Like something that labels like Youth Attack! or Deathwish Inc. would make the "special addition" variant. When I first opened my package up I oogling over this whole presentation like it was a priceless gem stone.

A lyric sheet insert, download code, and a sticker are also included. Personalized note from the band, maybe included.

Now you all are probably saying "VII, this looks great, music's is great, I want this, tell me how to get this incredible record NOW!" Well dear reader, unfortunately you're a bit SOL unless someone decides to sell their copy online. Only 100 copies of this were made and it has since gone completely out of print. Bit of a bummer, no doubt, but Caged Grave seem to already be making a name for themselves in their home country, and record and release bits and pieces of new material on a semi-regular basis. A new record should be on the horizon, and you bet I'll be here to hype it up! Can't wait to see where this band goes. Check out the demo here.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Music (Bleak, Ether Binge, Phyllomedusa, Archagathus)

The new jams have been flooding in at warp speed. A random perusal of bandcamp becomes an intimidating force of new and bizarre sounds to take in. I've been slacking around long enough, so let the hype train begin. Allow me to throw some of your favorite new tracks in ya di-rec-tion.

Starting off with a bit of an über-late 2013 release. The 2nd official demo of Syracuse, NY megalords of the heavy, Bleak. Though I say throw that fucking "Demo" title out the window, this is wayyy above any recording that should bear that title. This release is not grind, first and for most. Not a single blast beat graces these walls of sound, but goddamn this shit is just so good! The limitations of this blog will not be controlled by it's name dammit! But I digress. This recording is not for the faint of heart. It's heavy, ooooh man, it's heavy. Like something akin to a village being crushed by an avalanche. It's the kind of twisted sludgecore that hits me the same way as my favorite Gaza and Coalesce records. Learn up IMMEDIATELY! Listen here.

Ether Binge aka Victim Of A Drive-By, who impressed the hell out of me with their split tape with Chainsaw Squid (and have climbed their way up into becoming one of my favorite current grind bands), have blessed the world with four more tracks of their branded mutoid hypergrind. Sounding a million times better then their previous split as well. EB play a style of grind that I have really never ever heard before. The guitar/bass hybrid instrument that this band utilizes is utter perfection. Quite honestly some of the most interesting stuff I've heard come from a grind band in a while. These four tracks are on the upcoming 3-way split with Cancer Patient and Inzaine which will be released by the excellent Opaques Records. Also coming out on Opaques Records...An Ether Binge/Shooting Spree split 7" and a vinyl reissue of the Chainsaw Squid split. Unstoppable. Listen and become a believer here.

Phyllomedusa, of course. Been far too long since I gave my favorite amphibian worshipping noise god some love. Mr. Phyllo has been a bit of a busy guy, putting out a steady stream of new full lengths/EP's of all a wide variety of disgusting sounds. Bouncy, slam filled goregrind ("Puddle Dependency"), slow moving, atmospheric-doomy-blackened-noise ("Rainforests Are Only Pretty On The Outside"), straight up doom metal ("Empty Inside This Clear Skin"), harsh Japanoisecore worship with the new Toad Birth project, and of course that brutal gorenoise that I know and love ("Glorify The Plump"). Dude seems to just record literally whatever pops in his head. It's bewildering and all around impressive how this man pulls it all off, with consistently heavy results. Keel over and die right here.

New new Archagathus tracks! Fucking awesome!! Word of new recordings don't usually pop up on my radar before I actually hear of a new record that's come out, so word. First up, five tracks for an upcoming split tape (?) with Canadian goregrinders Hyperemesis. I guess in spirit of their split partners sound, the fella's have recorded some Regurgitate inspired gore tunes. The recent activity with Parfumerie probably isn't a far off influence as well. The boys do this style well, of course, and these tracks rip. In addition, there are also four new, untitled tracks for an upcoming EP entitled "Cold Universe". More down-tuned gore smeared grind on this too, but with better recordings. Seems like their rough mince roots are getting more and more put to the side so this tighter, more Euro-style sound can take over. I'm digging it so far, a lot. For a band with an output like Archagathus, I commend them for the continued quality. Love the green logo on the cover as well, nice touch. This EP will be released Spring 2014 on haunted Hotel and Coffee Grinder Records. Listen here.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Disciples Of Christ - "Decomposition Fantasy" Review

Playing a teeny bit of catch up here, as this record was kinda-technically released in 2013. Had I been as close attention as I should have, you would have bet your ass that this here recording would have
safely landed in the top 5 spot of my year end list. The band already made my favorite record of the year with their split 12" with Triac, and "Decomposition Fantasy" just pushes their inevitable domination of the grind world even closer to the present. Right away, screeching feedback and dirty production kick start the opening track "Cultivate Dissolution", the chaotic messy sound that I loved so much on that split are still here, and even pumped up a bit. This record is filthy. The guitars sound like slabbing metal sheets amplified through a broken amplifier. with Chris Moore's always monstrous drums hits providing some sort of structure for new ears. Underneath all the fuzz and treble lies some of the finely crafted grindcore to come out in 2013. Interesting songwriting 101, D.O.C are here to school you. This band works as a total unit, making every note and transition count. Constantly changing riffs and switching off vocals at a desperate, frantic rate. Blasting, high momentum riffs, leading seamlessly into crushing breaks or a choice "BLEH!" shout. Tracks like "Varicose Veins"   and "Pus Ride" showcase some of the best moments on this record using some of those dynamics. This band makes brutal grind in a way that I don't hear many other bands doing, or any for that matter, and the first five tracks will kick your head off. And then we have the last track, which is actually a cover. It's kinda no secret D.O.C have a thing for weird hardcore/punk bands. The cover art layout for the Triac split was a total Psychic TV homage, and the art here has a very distinct Rudimentary Peni look. So it shouldn't come off that surprising that they've gone and covered the Wire track, "Pink Flag", from their groundbreaking album of the same name. As is to be expected, they pull the song off very well, keeping the same general song and structure in tact, but making it their own, adding some noisy sound deterioration and blasts at the end. Proper. his band can do no wrong, pick up a copy at Rorschach Records! Listen to the record here!

Rating: 9.5/10


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wormrot Are Rising Again (with studio footage)

People, it has been a scorching hot minute since we've had anything new to jam from OG's favorite Singaporecore titans Wormrot. A real shame, since they really did have the grind scene by the short hairs for a bit around the time they went dormant. Very vocal that they were not, and had no plans to, break up. So we've been left spinning "Dirge" and "Abuse" very patiently for 3 years (still great records for sure). The band has posted bits and pieces of new stuff from live videos and general updates online, but at long last, actual concrete, professional video evidence of them in the studio has surfaced! Just footage of Fit and Rasyid laying down guitar and drums tracks to be more exact. And holy crap is it heavy as hell. The guitar tone in this video is already beefy, I can only imagine what it will sound like on record. Rasyid seems to adventuring a little in the riff department, throwing in some nice dissonance and other guitar sounds and chords. Fit as always is a madman on the skins, one of the most powerful grind drummers to watch.
I'm assuming Earache is releasing this forthcoming record. No word yet on a release date, or an album title. I expect updates to be pouring out sooner then later. You can see the footage the same place I did, right here.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Parfumerie - "Transmundane and Unprofessional Delocation of Superfluous Extremities and Rare Tissues E​.​P." Review

Though I rarely get around to posting about it on the site, I do have a very big soft spot in my heart for goregrind. It's hard to find a genre as ridiculous, gimmicky, or just plain fun as this one in extreme music. Trouble is, it's hard for a goreginrd band to impress me enough to warrant posting, outside of Phyllomedusa. But a few weeks ago some live videos of this band Parfumerie caught my eye and I was blow away by their energy, catchy songs and stage presence. I've been looking for recordings ever since and it appears that yesterday a whole EP was posted! Parfumerie is actually a trio featuring Joe (on bass and vocals) and Dan (on drums) of Archagathus, and they lend their great, catchy song craft heavily into this project. "Transmundane and Unprofessional Delocation of Superfluous Extremities and Rare Tissues" is an instantly enjoyable goregrind record, right from the thick beefy, Coffins-ish instrumental intro song, "Venereal Excavation", with some great grooving, chugs and some great trembelo picked riffs. That leads right into the blaster track "Upheaval Of Partially Digested Innards". Each track is a perfect little piece of goregrind compositioning. Great, memorable riffs and song writing bits like the evolving groove of the end riff on the closing track, "Deranged Menarche Injection -//- Regurgitate",  show to me that the same care and attention was given to this band as it was to the guys other main projects. Not to mention, this thing sounds fantastic. The guitars and bass are crazy thick and punchy, and dan gives a great drum performance with tons of kick/snare blasting (just think Regurgitate's "Carnivorous Erection"). This was a great first release from this project, definitely something I can see any gorehound drooling over. Can't wait for more in the future.

Rating: 9/10


Friday, January 3, 2014

Chainsaw Squid/LxDxT - Split Review

We're barely dickhead deep into 2014, and we've already got a blazing hot fire split from the west coast to start this year off on a good note. Dropped right on the first day of this year actually, pretty nifty. Chainsaw Squid, one of my favorite bands of 2013 and one that I will continue to gush over till the
forseeable future, bring the pain yet again on their side. Five tracks, all fast, all heavy, no prisoners are taken in their grindcore rampage. Every track is a little piece of ignant blastcore perfection. This band makes every riff, and every spine-snapping break count, masters of their song craft, in my opinion. It's that chaotic, spur-or-the-moment sounding grind that I fell in love with from bands like Sidetracked or Dead Radical, or even Lack Of Interest. The usual choice samples are used, classic stuff. Definitely their best sounding recording too, and ends with a nice semi-MITB sounding groover. Love it all. LxDxT are a band that I've had my eye on for a minute, and I believe have unfortunately not had the chance to right about them. Bummer on my end to keep this band for any amount of people, because they rip hard. Three tracks from them, bringing that brutal, sharp, tight deathy grindviolence sound. But mixing it up with a plethera of slam dancing hardcore and fastcore influence. It's super brutal stuff, at times sounding almost exactly like fellow coaster's BrucexCampell, which is by all accounts a good thing. Not to mention, they sound fucking great on this split, super heavy and intense production. And nice one with the last track, guys. I really thought that was gonna be a live track for a while, then BAM, raging snare! Kick ass. Tapes are coming soon I believe.

Rating: 8.5/10