Bump ‘n’ Grind – Less Grind, More Bump
Is there really that much grind coming out?
Well, yes and no; I’d say I’ve extended the scope a little bit on this one, so you may well find something worthwhile even if you’re more into, say, thrash or punk. But if there’s not enough grind for you here today, you can always check the new arrivals on Bandcamp (if you dare) and find that, yes, there is indeed a ton of grind coming out all the god damn time. I’ve actually excluded the two “big” grind releases of last month, namely No One Knows What The Dead Think and Takafumi Matsubara, as I’m sure anyone who gives a hoot (i.e. fans of Gridlink and Discordance Axis) will have already concluded that they’re fucking awesome. That said, let’s delve into the stuff you may have overlooked.
September 27th | Prosthetic Records
Right, let’s get the proper weird shit right up front this time. .gif from god are a Virginia-based project that is described as “a cold, calculating blend of grind and metalcore absurdity.” Except for the frequent breakdowns, I’m struggling to hear any metalcore parts though. I am, in fact, struggling to hear anything that seems particularly familiar. The compositions are generally of an unpredictable nature, zig-zagging between grind, brutal death, sludge, and all sorts of other styles. It’s the sort of madness that needs to be heard to be…I hesitate to say “understood,” because comprehension seems a long way off for me. What I can understand, however, are the various causes the band supports in their area and encourages you to support, among these being the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project, the Nationz Foundation, and the Richmond Food & Clothing Resistance Collective.
September 13th | HPGD Productions
Transitioning from “serious yet playful” to “playful if not plain stupid,” we turn to Smash Potater. Similarly silly song titles, but with silly music to go with them, i.e. pretty DIY-sounding crossover thrash with a ridiculous amount of samples and gang vocals. They’re just heavy enough to make this feature, though there’s really not much grind here aside from the occasional blast beat. It’s the sort of stuff I would have expected to find on Tankcrimes next to Ghoul and Population Reduction, as they approximate the style of the latter quite closely while the growls remind me of the former. 18 tracks of mindless fun, including a rap song at the end (so you’re definitely getting more than you asked for, because who in their right mind would have asked for that). “GMO” is a highlight of the record and gives you a good idea of what’s on offer here.
August 30th | Tankcrimes
Oh hey, speaking of Tankcrimes, let’s move towards the roots of grind a little with some straightforward, old school hardcore punk. While Cliterati mostly keep things dialed to eleven with shredding riffs and slightly distorted, screaming vocals that create a gripping sense of urgency, a couple of songs display a tad more finesse than you may have expected (“Tribal Politics,” Latinx Taken”). As the cover suggests, the band throws a variety of social and political issues into the blender and finds that the resulting pulp bears a far too overwhelming stench of shit, a fact that they are justifiably mad about. And the anger is rather infectious.
September 27th | Nerve Altar
Man, nothing but great band names today! Believe it or not, Skullshitter actually keeps it classy, utilizing a meaty guitar sound, hearty growls, and actual guitar solos. This makes songs like “Wrath Snorter” and “Lava Seed” into straight up old school death metal jams, while spazzed-out grind energy is largely relegated to the shorter tracks. On the other side, Bleeding Out, while featuring a vocal approach no less suited to death metal, keep it much more low down and dirty with plenty of crust attitude. Amidst the shredding, d-beating, and blasting, however, they do find time for several catchy riffs that are sure to get your head bobbing.
September 27th | Independent
Finally, the kind of stuff that all/some/none of you (delete as appropriate) came here for: absolutely disgusting, mindless grind. Don’t let the synth intro fool you; Deterioration have just about as much depth as the puddle of drool that will form on your desk after they’ve clobbered you into unconsciousness. Guitars chug and rumble endlessly, a trashcan-ish snare pokes through the mire, and the singer seems to try his best to turn his throat inside out. Turn off your brain and go nuts. And who knows, maybe you’ll discover something deeper after all; “Amoedoid Hyperintelligent Superorganism” certainly sounds like an interesting thing that Rolderathis would write about (shhh, I’m just trying to trick him into listening to this).
September 20th | Independent
Aww, my favourite Franco-Canadian filthmongers are all grown up now! Crust is still the name of the game, for sure, but there’s no denying that Khaos Mortem sounds like Saccage‘s most mature effort to date. No more gang shouts, no more songs about weed and beer (as far as I can tell, at least). Everything has taken a turn for the sinister instead. Sound-wise, the aging process manifests in a slightly different execution of their melange of genres; more than ever, the core punk spirit is enriched with heaping doses of thrash and death metal, and all the elements are woven together more tightly in more ambitious songwriting ideas. Nothing has changed so much that long-time listeners will be alienated, but perhaps enough has been done to draw in new ones that were hesitant to take the band seriously before.
October 25th | Independent
Not unlike Crawler from last time, Malevich infuse their grind with a hefty dose of sludge. Here, however, the mix is presented with more of an experimental character, and for once, track length is no indicator of where a song will go, as even the shorter ones can take unexpected turns. The sludge part of their sound often finds manifestation in cathartic repetition that would not be out of place on a stoner doom record, were it not so unsettling in its nature. Some parts of preview track “Useless Talent, Promised Greatness” are a good example of this. Much like this song, a lot of the music feeds off of juxtaposing different dynamics, be it in terms of volume or speed. The transitions are rarely jarring, because the material is consistently gripping, regardless of whether the song is 1 ½ or 8 minutes long. Our Hollow sounds like a deranged, horrific testament to modern life encompassing both the outward shrillness and the devastating emptiness of introspection.
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