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


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