Bump’n’Grind – Not a Top 10 Edition
Still got some top stuff though!
Grind doesn’t have time for Top 10s. We got a lot of past and future stuff to get to. Also, this is only the 4th BnG installment this year, and one was full of 2020 releases, so just pick 8 things from the last two and then add Sangue de Bode and Nest of Scum from this one. But also check out the other stuff I got for you today, because non-top-10 grind is still top grind. Mostly.
Sangue de Bode | Seja Bem Vindo de Volta pra Cruz | November 3, 2021
This album’s excellent mix of crossover thrash, grind, black metal, and just a smidge of electronica here and there should have been highlighted way sooner. In what could have become the most German review ever, I initially planned to break down the songs and present statistics showing how much of each genre is present in each one. Apart from thoroughly sucking the fun out of the album, that approach would also have sold it short, as the established categories soon proved insufficient; the band moves fluently along a spectrum, so that it’s not always possible (much less necessary) to establish which mode they’re currently in. Highly recommended to anyone who is equally interested in mosh grooves, blackened grindcore, and the spaces in-between.
Ghastly | XV | January 29, 2021
Found by accident while looking for the other Ghastly, this 15-track “EP” soon revealed itself to be more than initially met the eye. While the first couple of tracks are the kind of straightforward, ignorant blasting that I would have expected from a one-man grind project, it’s not long before the music ventures into the wider field of deathgrind, incorporating elements of old school and brutal death as well as minute dashes of tech and thrash. It’s a nice potpourri of everything this column is about. The drums are a little sloppy at times, but overall, the performance is technically proficient throughout, the bass guitar rumbles along beautifully, and the vocals are quite varied. A fun romp through the dungeons of the inquisition.
Dishell | Teutonic Beat | November 26, 2021
Despite a multitude of “Dis-” bands out there, I don’t think I’ve heard one that stays this close to the OGs. The sound of the drums and guitars can easily send you down memory lane, but the underlying formula did receive some minor updates. Screws are considerably tighter, removing much of the sloppy and ramshackle nature of the music, and the songwriting is a bit more adventurous, although nothing here comes in danger of being mistaken as progressive. The Bandcamp page describes it as “Anti-Cimex colliding head-first with Celtic Frost,” but I have difficulties hearing the latter. It’s a fun enough ride, but given the choice, I’d probably just listen to Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing for the umpteenth time.
Squelch Chamber | Everything Turns to Shit | December 10, 2021
Drum roll please, for we have surely reached some kind of bottom here. In terms of quality? That I leave up to you, but certainly in terms of listenability. Although I suppose that’s just as subjective… anyway, Squelch Chamber takes the term noise rock very literally and play it in a way that sounds so completely blown out that it regularly ventures into the realm of harsh noise. I say “play,” but I’m not entirely sure if any instruments are involved here, apart from the drumkit. Does this even belong here? Well, some of the collected material—a large part of the band’s discography plus two new tracks—does resemble grindcore, particularly tracks 2-9. And besides that, where else would this horribly dirty little cassette find a home?
Massive Charge | For Those We Hate | November 19, 2021
Teflon-coated non-stick grindcore from France. The near-constant, immense speed is impressive, and the competence of everyone involved can’t be questioned. The most interesting ideas and the best riffs come through in the longer songs. I’d say this is on par with latter-day Napalm Death in terms of flawless execution and sheer aggression, and I end up having the same problems with it; in the long run, I’m missing a bit of character. Few things stick out, most of it passes in a blur. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a pure form of grind that burns clean, you can’t go wrong with this.
Nest of Scum | II Return of the Revenge | February 26, 2021
This one’s a last-minute addition via the recommendations on Ghastly’s page, so I haven’t spent that much time with it yet, but the decision to include it came almost immediately. While setting out “to make the heaviest tunes possible,” sole member Graham Matthias is smart enough to know this is not achieved by non-stop blasting and shredding. There’s still plenty of that to be found, but the well-crafted compositions between grind and brutal death are perfectly capable of slowing down and settling into murderous grooves packed with immensely fun and often catchy riffs. And even at top speed, they regularly retain a seriously impressive level of intricacy. A simply immaculate release and an immense joy to listen to.
Wolfbastard | Hammer the Bastards | January 14, 2022
I have problems with what is commonly called “blackened crust” because all it usually seems to do is to take the melancholy of atmospheric USBM and apply it to crust, yielding a result that often strikes me as angsty and boring. A different interpretation of the term can be heard from acts like Saccage, Bonehunter, and—in case it’s not clear where I’m going with this—Wolfbastard. Much more along the lines of the irreverent satanic tirades of the former than the cybergoth fantasy setting of the latter, these guys take all of the attitude and some of the style of first and second wave black metal and apply it to their filthy brand of crust. While you won’t necessarily hear anything groundbreaking, you’ll most certainly be entertained.
Depleted Uranium | Origins | January 28, 2022
Recorded live in the studio in one go all the way back in 2010, this thing not only sounds raw as fuck, but is also all over the place with its style. Aside from grind, you’re getting a decent dose of mathcore, but even more often, the music veers into territory that I think would appeal to screamo fans. These parts are governed by clean-ish, anguished vocals and additionally infused with melancholy by the guitar. While they do the most to define the mood of the album, I’d still hesitate to pigeonhole it, as the band pivots from style to style often enough to give the music a nicely weird, free-form feel. If you’d like a take on the post-nuclear apocalypse that isn’t filled with boring zombies and mutants, look no further.