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