Bump’n’Grind – First Grind of 2019
Yes, alright, also some from 2018. What are you, a cop?
Because you totally have to tell me if your’re a cop, you know. Anyway, after it took some time before
I got off my lazy butt enough new grind cropped up to make one of these, I daresay I now have quite a cool collection that offers something for everybody (who likes grind). For the first time, there’s even some bands you may have heard of! Wow!
Throat Breach – Hideous
Less gory than the cover might make it seem. There’s songs about aliens and video games (I think) and the drums are programmed, but thankfully, it doesn’t really sound like cybergrind. Vocals are blackened shrieking reminding me of Watchmaker both in tone and out-of-control intensity and occasionally dipping into mean growling. A definite highlight. Surprisingly, the programmed drums aren’t a huge problem for me; the blasts can get a little annoying, but stop just short of becoming ridiculous. Better by far than other over-prolfic one-man projects we’ve had on the blog.
Besta – Eterno Rancor
More of a clean-cut sort of grind recommended for fans of Phobia, for example. Vocals are generally more of a hardcore bark, and d-beats frequently take over. Whether or not “clean-cut” is a good or bad thing is up to you, of course; if instead of basement-dwelling noise maniacs, you’re more into well-produced bands that play tight as hell, there’s no reason for you to pass this up. I could do with a few more standout songs like the tenth track, but the overall pissed-off energy still makes for many an entertaining moment.
Misery Index – Rituals of Power
Baltimore’s long-standing grind instution is back, and I’m a lot happier about it than I anticipated. Somewhat befuddled by the epic scope that The Killing Gods seemed to go for, I mostly skipped that record, and either the break has worked wonders for my enthusiasm or the band really does sound invigorated and fresher than they have in years. I still hold that mid-tempo songs (“They Always Come Back”) don’t suit the band’s sound and that nothing fucks with Retaliate, but most of Rituals… is at the very least close in terms of immediacy and brutality.
Thetan – Abysmal
I know what you’re thinking – finally a Scientology-themed grind band! Looks like that’s not entirely correct judging by the song titles, but what you do get is a grind band that gets by solely with drums and a bass guitar, and they get pretty gnarly with the premise. The bass guitar makes for a rumbling, murky mess that threatens to drown the shrieking vocals, but they do their best to claw their way out of the mire. Tracks like “Welcome to your stupid life” and “Sell you a dream” create brief respites, but the rest of the time, the pedal stays on the metal, making for a really uncomfortable ride.
Noisem – Cease to Exist
Oh hey, it’s Baltimore’s other grind institution – the one that came with the burden of much higher expectations, which I’m sad to say it doesn’t quite fulfill. Mind you, Noisem still blow most competitors out of the water even on a bad day, so this is quite nitpicky, but it feels like something is lacking. I sense neither the unhinged old school vibe of the debut nor the unbridled grind intensity of Blossoming Decay. “Downer Hound” comes close and is a definite highlight with its shredding riff and furious solo, but the rest, while far from outright bad, feels oddly lifeless a lot of the time.
Cystic – The Last Days Demo
It’s damn near criminal how this thing seems to have flown under the radar, especially with everyone going on about OSDM all the time. Cystic’s cover of Sepultura‘s “Anticop” is a good indicator of where this thing is headed stylistically; fans of both old school thrashing death metal and old school thrashing grind in the vein of Repulsion need to buy this thing right now or forever be banished from wearing their greasy vests. Not everyone can be scouting for Maggot Stomp I guess, but if I were, I’d throw this their way to freshen up the roster.
Unborn Generation – Vøid
Are you up for having your face repeatedly stomped into the curb? I guess so, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. Let me specify: are you up for some blistering crust-infused grind along the lines of Nails but without the shitty people (I hope) or Ancst but without the atmospheric noise? That was an extremely long question, so I hope you’re still around when the album starts to show its slightly melodic side, cause that’s pretty good. Put on some gym shorts and go ape.
Isotope – s/t
Okay, now that we’ve attracted the crusties, let’s have something to play them right the hell back out. Don’t be fooled by what looks like Conan‘s cover artist having a bad trip; this thing is punk af at heart and can easily hang with crust’s forefathers. Not unlike Amebix, Isotope take the time to craft rather elaborate songs (by Bump’n’Grind standards, anyway) instead of sprinting from one d-beat to the next. Centerpiece “Bloody Dove of Peace” illustrates very well that they understand their craft. Album is out April 5th.
Endorphins Lost – Seclusions
Another one leaning more in the hardcore direction – or so it would seem judging by the pace of the opening track. Immediately afterwards, however, things begin to veer off into utterly frantic, damn-near-powerviolence territory, and this is what the band sticks with most of the time. Rule of thumb: if it’s over two minutes, it’s got a breakdown or is otherwise a little slower; everything else sounds more like E. Honda’s punch attack. Points deducted for naming a song “Two Minutes Hate” and having it be almost four minutes long though.
The Flying Luttenbachers – Shattered Dimension
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