Bump’n’Grind – The Leftovers
New year, old grind.
We’re doing a bit of cleanup today, (mostly) looking at grind releases that slipped through the cracks last year. 7 quick reviews of 7 quick releases, plus some recommendations at the end. Call me biased, but I think there’s some extremely solid stuff here. See for yourself.
Bain de Sang | Sacrificed for a Load of Filth and Lies | Sep 4 2020
What an understated cover for the absolute onslaught that this thing is. 5 ripping tracks in about as many minutes, capped off with a Warsaw cover and a comparatively lengthy noise outro. The original songs waste zero time getting to the point, clobbering you with bright, well-enunciated guitars and screaming vocals that somewhat remind me of Nasum. What’s more, every song bears one central riff that could easily take home the trophy in some sort of weekly contest. I found this on a list curated by one of the guys in Beaten to Death, and the man clearly knows what he’s talking about. Absolutely fantastic stuff.
Socioclast | s/t | Feb 19 2020
It kinda looks like a death metal album, doesn’t it? Well, there’s certainly a fair share of death metal influence in the vocals and some of the riffs, but the most important factor is probably the songwriting. The songs are aggressive and barely ever exceed the one-minute mark, sure, but they’re brimming with ideas and variation. I get the impression that hitting people over the head with fast, blunt-force attacks is not the prime goal here. It feels like the onset was to build a good vehicle, and then they tried to make it go as fast as possible. Thinking man’s grindcore? Maybe not quite, but it rewards a closer listen.
Necroweasel | 2020 & 2 | Dec 2020
We’ve all had to find ways of coping with 2020, and in the case of Necroweasel, it was to start making some pretty gnarly, crusty crossover thrash. The one-man project started during quarantine and has put out three releases thus far. As you might expect, there’s not a lot of artistic progression to be charted between them, but the output was solid enough from the beginning. There’s a manic energy to a lot of the material, and the guy certainly is a competent musician that rarely gets sloppy with anything. The vocals are perhaps the only real weakness, but then again, a voice evoking anything else than beer and cigarettes just wouldn’t fit as well. There’s little fault and a lot of fun to be found here.
Naarkas | Slangen | Jan 29 2021
Let’s increase the level of filth with this nasty little EP. Naarkas plays what I’d call something like deeply blackened crust’n’roll. The guitars sound blown-out, the amps seemingly strained to the breaking point. Vocals are anguished screams that lose almost all enunciation in the reverb. The only thing that doesn’t sound like it’s out to murder your ears is the bass guitar, which patiently rumbles along at the bottom of the mostly moderately paced compositions. This feels like nearly suffocating at a dimly lit basement show, surrounded by monolithic, ominous figures in leather jackets who all seem to able to cope just fine with the sonic onslaught.
Camera Obscura Two | D.O.D. | Feb 12 2021
Another one with a strong death metal tinge, but this one took me a while to warm up to, and I’m still not sure I’m entirely convinced. It’s that god damn HM-2 guitar tone. I’m so tired of it that it immediately puts me off, which is kinda hard to look past. If you can manage, you’ll find many a cool riff—”Stalked by the Eye of No God” sticks out in particular—and even frequent sprinkles of unexpected and well-executed melody. The growls are fine, too, but the more raspy vocals are another thing that doesn’t work for me. I’m torn, and final song “Deathstress” perfectly encompasses my mixed feelings by following some of the best material on the album with an utterly unnecessary second half. One step forward, Camera Obscura Two steps back.
Note: You’ll be able to find the album on Selfmadegod’s Bandcamp once it drops.
Craneo | Demo | Mar 10 2020
More crusty stuff, this time from Spain, and of a more pure variety. Just two guys doing drums, guitars, and vocals, blasting and d-beating their way through 6 quick tracks. It’s as basic a setup as you can get, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely fun. There’s not an ounce of fat or slop on any of the compositions here. The playing is tight, and they’re able to turn on a dime to switch between modes. Apart from the obvious grind and crust, these include, for example, a dash of hardcore in “Inverte/Viviente,” or a smidge of death metal in “Yo soy tu Dios.” These little peeks into the neighbors’ gardens add a nice bit of spice, and I’m left wanting more.
Pukelust vs Misericorde | Syringe Full of Puddle Water | Dec 24 2020
Where did I find this abomination? On Facebook, of course. Bracing for some terrible cybergoreporngrind with a shitty drum machine, I hit play, and was pleasantly surprised. Not so much by the Pukelust material, although that’s still a good deal better than expected, with quite varied songwriting and a solid vocal performance. On the downside, you’ve got HM-2 guitar, a bad drum machine, and Too Long Sample syndrome. Misericorde made much more of an impression on me. The drum machine still sounds bad when it’s left on its own, but it’s not too egregious amidst the general chaos of the songs. And there is plenty of chaos in this mix of brutal death metal and grind. The blasts are continuous and the guitar is always busy. On top of that, you’ve got vocals switching between three different approaches, yet somehow, the result rarely devolves into a complete mess. It’s not the kind of stuff I need everyday, but it’s brutal enough for the occasional catharsis.
So that’s it for today. Next time, more 2021 grind, probably. Speaking of which, I initially meant to include the new Portrayal of Guilt in this round on the off chance that you missed it, but didn’t for various reasons, chief amongst them that I still don’t really get that band. I also have the feeling that they require more words than I can give them in this format. In any case, that’s a thing that’s out now and you should check it if you dig screamo/post-hardcore mixed with a bit of noise (do they even belong in a grind column?). And if you’re a fan of them, you may also want to keep an eye on this upcoming record from Pupil Slicer, who strike me as sort of similar but with more mathcore and actual grind. There’s also an EP from Hazing Over dropping later this month, which takes things in more of a hardcore direction. Is there really a common denominator here? I do find them all equally confusing, but I hope you have fun with them, and maybe you want to write about one of them.