100% Support: Hans’n’Grind
On June 5th, Bandcamp will once again waive their percentage of proceeds, so that 100% of the money goes directly to the artists. We’ll be spending the week highlighting some releases that you might want to throw money at to help the creators through these shittiest of times.
I’ll go into some all-time favourites this time. It’s mostly like a “Bump’n’Grind Classics Edition,” really, so get on in here if you like it quick and dirty.
First, some artists for which I’ve already professed my love multiple times on here:
Hellripper: As seen on my AOTY list every year he releases something. One-man blackened thrash that is better than a lot of one-man projects and better than any other blackened thrash.
Noisem: Probably well known around these parts but always worth a shout-out. Deathgrind? Thrashgrind? Whatever, it’s fun as hell and the guitar solos rip.
Wormrot: If you’ve somehow slept on Voices, you’ve missed a new standard in grindcore—not that their prior albums are anything to sneeze at, mind you.
Dephosphorus: Pretty much the reason my Bandcamp account got started. A league all of their own and thus deserving of a genre tag all their own—”Astrogrind.”
With that out of the way, here are some more or less in-depth spotlights.
With a title like that, does anything more need to be said? Extremely pissed off, straightforward crust punk from Hungary that should appeal to any fan of Skitsystem and other classics.
Japanische Kampfhörspiele (Phantom Records)
Since the band’s own page only features their most recent stuff and their own label does not exist anymore, this isn’t directly supporting the band, but rather German punk label Phantom Records. However, not only are they support-worthy in their own right (what with offering everything in their weird roster on a name-your-price basis), but I’m pretty sure at least some money gets passed on to the artists (if not, I don’t understand how label pages on Bandcamp work).
Anyway, onto Hardcore aus der Ersten Welt: it’s awesome. I’ve loved it ever since I discovered it about 15 years ago. It’s got several staples of grindcore; the music is fast and brutal, there’s a guy who growls (most satisfyingly, as you’ll hear from the first second) and a guy who shrieks, and the lyrics are critical of pretty much every aspect of modern-day human existence. What takes it above and beyond is that Christof Kather, mastermind behind the band, is an excellent drummer and songwriter, freely incorporating elements from other genres (the eponymous hardcore as well as pretty much any kind of extreme metal that’s fast) to create songs that are immensely fun. Just see if the album’s longest track, “Es lernt sich von selbst,” doesn’t put a smile on your face. This version also includes the four tracks from the split that was the band’s next release, so you get a little extra grind for your Geld. You’ll find more of their albums on Phantom, none bad, but I still think they peaked with this one.
The band so good Richter reviewed them twice in a year! They have a new album that’s so good they released it twice! And if you thought there was even a semblance of light at the end of this tunnel, you better think twice! These guys will put any such delusions out of your head with a guitar sound that is low on distortion, sounding a lot like piercing daggers, and shrieking vocals full of utter despair. A lot of blackened crust tends to fall on the melancholy side, but this goes far beyond that; the futility of human existence almost becomes a physical sensation when listening to their albums and multitudes of splits. It’s an extremely stark sound that I haven’t heard anywhere else and it cuts, cuts, cuts, right down to the bone, peeling away airs and graces and fanciful ideas of a higher purpose. Give in, give up, drop out.
Since I chose the artists featured today a while ago, I don’t think I’ve included bands that support the protesters in the US in anything other than spirit, but at least the selection includes Rehashed from Canada, who make soundtracks to riots. Their politically charged crossover thrash goes harder than most anything I’ve heard in the genre, and it does so non-stop. While their second full-length Government Cheese is by no means a slouch, it is Code Black that my heart belongs to ever since I saw it recommended by Arif Rot from a certain aforementioned grindcore act. Spin this whenever you need to recharge your doubtlessly depleted rage reserves. Spoiler alert: the bonus tracks that comes with the download is a cover of this track, and boy do they ever do it better.