Saturday, May 16, 2015

Headless Death - "Poxy Death" EP

Australia Alert!!! Another brilliant provocateur of brutally from the magical city of Melbourne. And honestly a very new one for me. Even though Headless Death have been steadily putting out dynamite material since 2012. A quartet from Melbourne, who play a what I can only call bestial grindcore. Or super heavy, deathy, war grind. A style they bring out in full honest force again on their newest tape, "Poxy Death". On here we have three new songs, and a rerecording of the title track of their last EP called "Under the Mushroom". As well as a track that I guess is a Ringworm cover at the end. But I don't listen to Ringworm, and a quick Youtube search shows me a song much different then HD's interpretation so I'm lost. "Poxy Death" for the most part is perfect example of brutal hyperblast grind done perfectly well. In a very Australian way, I can say now. Distinctly rich with the same sounds that countrymen Internal Rot and Coffin Birth have perfected. Though with a much, much, much rawer recording. The musical performances here are relentless, particularly in the drumming. The speed that Headless Death maintain would make any average-joe-band sweat trying to keep up. The death soaked riffs are here at some of their most primal and savage, HD keep the variation levels nice an balanced. Definitely letting in a lot more space for more groovy, headbangable passages. The opener "Underground Existence" has a pretty sweet hXc mosh part that pops every now and again. The following track "Not A Worthy Death" opens with a very attention grabbing bass and drum riff, and utilizes some twisted dissonance and melodies. I'm not too hot on the closing, mysterious Ringworm cover though. The slow-song-at-the-end cliche is getting way too, well cliche for me. This track unfortunately does nothing to change that. The super sluggish punk beat towards the end is where I especially loose interest. What "Poxy Death" gives we on the whole first half though is completely fantastic. Headless Death are yet another knight in shining armor for Australia's grindcore army.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Limbs Bin/Sidetracked - Split cassette

The cancerous infection of harsh electronics and experimentation in the grindy world is spreading deep. Now showing up from the fastcore lords of Washington, Sidetracked. Jay's incredibly heavy output coalesceing with Josh Landes/Limbs Bin mission to be the king of splits. Tons of release from both of these artists, they've all been great to just incredible, and them teaming up for a tape is just too much to handle. Sure to be another beautiful package from Josh's own label Follow Me Into The Laser Eye. Limbs Bin open up with another dated track, "Fourth of July 2014". This ladies and gentlemen, is some of the harshest stuff he's created since "Total Anguish". I'm definitely dubbing it his "gorenoise moment", but done completely Limbs Bin. Raging for a beautiful 2 minutes, this side is total chaotic, cathartic brutality. Brown noise walls of bass drums, echoing layers of screeching vocals and noise box abuse. It's a steady assault of impenetrable noise with those devastating drum machine bursts. There's a particularlly wonderful part in the middle where the reverbed synth noises and the vocals match up in the best way, total ear candy. Teaming up with Sidetracked is an obviously exciting partnership, and it's one where I really didn't know what to expect from Jay and the band. Sidetracked has never really been a group to experiment with noise, outside of arguably the the rougher recording quality they've used through the years. I really loved the few tracks posted from the noise-ridden "Abandon" EP, so I was hoping it would be some weird, Sissy Spacek-ish noisecore. Listening to it over and over, I am, sadly a bit disappointed with their side here. Another on-the-money two minute mini-opus of 10 drum and vocal bursts (aka Sidetracked songs). All held together by a hypnotic, sliding guitar drone. It is definitely something meant to be listened to as one piece, trying to pick each song apart would just end up adding unwanted effort. Each drum stab is a different fill or beat, staying away from just doing obvious blasts. Jay's trademarked one-lyric punctuations are basically the sole lyrical effort you'll get here. As the piece goes one, both drums and vocals stick around longer and longer. Finishing off with a 3 second hardcore beat and silence. Not what I would call the most enjoyable effort from Sidetracked, but to their credit, "Abandon" does sound incredible so far. I am eager to see what the final product of that will be. The tape will be out in May, in limited quantities, and can be purchased from Follow Me Into The Laser Eye or the Limbs Bin bandcamp.


Sickmark - "s/t" II"

The name Sickmark might not immediately strike any bells with most of you. If you were around the ol' internet circles a lot last year, you may have stumbled upon their first 7" EP. What was actually one of my favorite records of 2014. A particularly filthy gem of a powerviolence EP. In that super negative/super serious and mean style of the genre. The first self-titled EP met all the criteria I give bands of that style, and more. Displaying serious technical and frantic songwriting chops, and having a very gruff recording and aesthetic that was also loud as fuck. I really dug the bass in one channel, guitar in the other sound too (fun fact, they switch which channels they're in on this record, haha). Sickmarks newest self-titled offering, which has some seriously baddass cover art, yet again, immediately shows that they are comfortably and confidently sticking to their comfort zones. A bit of a more lo-fi recording this time around though, but the band still sounds incredibly tough and relentless. Sickmark are still an impressively quick and tight unit, and the songs they write on here are brutally breakneck. I did pick up on a lot more focus on grooves this time around. Lots of sprinkles of blasts sandwiched between disgusting breakdowns, too a largely great effect yet again. The track "Hammer" has a particularly big WTF groove in it. Very strong influences are taken from the negative heavyweights, maybe even more so now. Bands like Sea of Shit (they even have a track with the namesake on here), Socially Retarded, and Despise You are obvious comparisons. Or like if Spazz really hated life. This kind of style does tend to sound pretty familiar after a while, and the songs on this EP honestly do tend to all melt together. There is almost no real trace of variation here, which is totally not a bad thing at all, don't get me wrong. But a little bit of the excitement is lost for me when I can almost predict what's going to happen next. It's a solid, consistent filth storm, a very good follow up. Their first EP definitely did have a little bit more going on, but this new EP is still a total ripper. Definitely check this band out, and try and see them on their upcoming August USA tour with PA's, Constraint.