Bump’n’Grind – Chopped Golden Endorphin Nails
On time for the first time.
Yum yum yum, the year’s first batch of grind! And in a timely fashion, even—most of these are still piping hot! It’s an interesting mix this time around with some tried-and-true traditional stuff and some that’s more out there. Perhaps even a head scratcher or two. Enjoy!
Horrible Earth | Weakened by Civilization | February 17
In their mix of grind- and hardcore, Horrible Earth deliver the hardcore parts with such aplomb and heft that I almost wish they would cut out the pure grind parts. Breakdowns and stomping mosh sections develop such momentum that it’s impossible not to move along with them, and then, a few seconds later, you’re slammed into a wall of blast beats. During these, it can sometimes feel like the band is a bit out of step, and being the grind snob that I am, I almost dismissed the record because of that. Don’t be an idiot like me; just sit back and enjoy 15 minutes of finest grind.
Endorphins Lost | Night People | February 1
I last covered Endorphins Lost all the way back in 2019, so I missed two releases in the meantime, but it’s nice to check back in to see their erratic brand of grind is still fully intact. Songs are still able to stop on a dime and occasionally break down into tortuously slow parts, which together with the strained bark of one of the vocalists makes the whole thing feel a bit powerviolence-y at times. However, there’s enough hardcore and crust influence to vary things up considerably, so you’re never short on surprises as to which way a song will turn, and they take a lot of turns. Complexity delivered at this kind of speed requires tight performances across the board, and Endorphins Lost are not found wanting in that regard.
Origami Swan | Radioactivity Breath and Mysteries from Space | February 24
Volume warning. The band’s stated goal to “sonically end all life throughout the entire multiverse” is a lofty one, but I’d say they have a fair shot. This is noisegrind terrorism of the highest order and honestly not something I’d put on for fun (yet; my tastes only seem to degenerate with age). It’s hard to make out if this involves any traditional instruments because everything is distorted to the max and clipping almost constantly, but I think it’s purely digital harsh and atmospheric noise. All the while, the album pulls more random samples from movies and sermons than an MF Doom release. I included it mostly as a curio, but hey, if you’re genuinely into this, more power electronics to you. Just don’t talk to me or The Son ever again.
Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop | We Live as Ghosts | February 3
At least this one explicitly states that no instruments were used, but drums and a bass guitar were emulated and are actually discernible, which might just make this the first cybergrind release I don’t hate. Instead of the non-stop blasting and gurgling vocals I’m used to from the genre, recognizable song structures are employed here, and the digital noise filling in for the guitar is not insanely harsh—it’s actually quite enjoyable at times. On top of that, the vocals aren’t distorted at all as far as I can tell, which greatly helps the end product go down almost like an analog grind release. It’s certainly still got an experimental air to it, but it doesn’t feel like its sole purpose is to destroy your eardrums.
Golden Cannibal | Golden Cannibal | February 3
Have you heard of Ordovician Records? They’re pretty cool. A very young label focusing on avant-garde metal, they released the final Tulip record and are now making a second foray into grind with Golden Cannibal. Its extremely short runtime sees some extremely dissonant, dizzying extreme metal hurl through space to collide extremely hard with sci-fi synthwave elements and smatterings of trip hop, techno, and ambient noise. The result is a logic-defying alien construct of odd proportions where everything is seemingly perpendicular to everything else. Attempting to perceive the whole is an exercise that might melt the mind, but boy is it weird and fun.
Sonic Poison | Eruption | January 27
I got positively giddy when I saw this in my promo inbox. My 10 reasons to listen to Sonic Poison still stand—they’re still the best in the game, so don’t let one of the tackiest names in the game deter you. I’ve yet to see a better emulation of that original spark going off when, back in the ’80s, someone looked at the bubbling cauldron from which death and thrash would later emerge, then looked over at gnarly hardcore punk, and saw The Way. Sounds like Repulsion? Why yes, I bet that hardly anyone would bat an eye if you told them the two were contemporaries, except that Sonic Poison somehow make Repulsion sound as old as they actually are these days.
Coffin Nail | The Hanged Man | February 3
Another familiar face, although The Hanged Man has a markedly different vibe than last year’s Years of Lead, so much so that I didn’t get it at first. I’m still not sure I fully do, but after the cryptic text on the Bandcamp page drew me back in, the music started to develop a strange allure. The atmosphere is far colder and darker here, more akin to blackened death metal, while the often astoundingly primitive percussion and the hiss of the vocals recalls bands like Beherit and Von. “Cavernous war metal” might be a fitting description, but enough touchstones of grind remain to warrant its inclusion here. Plus I’m always up for including odd ones, and this one’s odd in a way we haven’t had here before.