Let There Be Grind: Bump n’ Grind, Vol. IV

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Twenty-six years ago, a prophet was born. Like many children, he emerged from the womb squealing. But there was something distinctly porcine to his squelching, and the doctors noted a bestial fury in his tiny eyes. The baby developed into a whirlwind of chaos as he aged, proving to his hapless parents than anything and everything could be used as a weapon of sound and violence. In a desperate bid to control the child’s unrestrained fury, they bought him a drum kit. The young man slavishly devoted himself to the art of pummeling his new percussion pieces, finding inspiration in slasher films and animal husbandry. As the boy grew, his feral side grew as well, and the young man channeled his primordial anger into his art. Inevitably, the young man withdrew from society, allowing his hair and beard to grow unkempt as he studied the cosmos in his rhythmic pummeling. However, the time is upon us for his reemergence. From the wilderness our prophet Tyree will come forth and lead the outcasts and dregs of society to the promised land. This is a tribute to our leader behind the skins. When he finally commands us to GRIND, we must all answer the call. Until then, keep your bestial senses sharp with this aromatic offering upon the grind altar.


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Truly, there is no greater praise for a grind band than the approval of the grindprophet Tyree. According to our fearless and peerless guide, Purge are like a “filthier and more pulverizing version of Today Is the Day.” Horrifying pitch-shifted vocals collide with quicksand riffs and torrential drums to create the soundtrack to a putrefying scene of multiple homicide in an offal-clogged drainage system. Sewage is a disgusting and harrowing exercise in grind nastiness, one best witnessed at peak volume and through the safety of a gas mask. You can stream the album over at bandcamp. Be sure to check out the Pennsylvania malcontents’ previous effort Always Faithful too.


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Radiation Vomit are contenders for the rawest and nastiest band on the list. Revolting vocals accentuate the loose, unpredictable song structure employed by these DIY grinders from California, and the whole ten-minute demo has an almost slipshod feel to it. I use the word almost because there’s definitely a lot of talent on display here, but the band play to their strengths and continually feel on the verge of losing control to the grind. This passionate, earnest approach is both endearing and a bit horrifying. Check out their demo on bandcamp and keep your eyes peeled for whatever they do next. Also, that might be the best artwork I’ve seen all year.


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If Purge are the rawest sounding band in this collection, Endless Swarm are definitely the ugliest. Lobotomy finds gratuitous chunks of noise grafted like an oily mechanical limb onto a swollen zombie’s corpse adorned with multiple heads, each belching a profane alien tongue like some demonic human hydra. Swaths of distortion and breakneck shifts in pace offer you no shelter, and by the time that Lobotomy ends, you’ll definitely be praying to be put in a catatonic state. You can pick up Lobotomy for any price over at bandcamp, so be sure to check out the band’s other releases.


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At some point in his sojourn into the wastes, the grindprophet Tyree spoke with the voice of thunder, and the subsequent lightning storm sundered the sky and split the earth. What arose from the shattered crust was a bile spewing wretch hellbent on laying waste to society in order to prepare the way for the grindprophet’s return. Beware the Fiend. Unleashing an unrelenting torrent of hatred and violence, Fiend continue to shake the firmament with their crusty D-beats and lightning blasts. Most surprising about the assault on Derailed, however, is how much groove there is amid the cacophony. If the Fiend isn’t bludgeoning your corpse with killer attack after killer attack, they’re stalking you with a slow, menacing glare. This is surely a frightening beast, so be sure to get on the band’s good side over at bandcamp.


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When the grindprophet returns, many will seek salvation with any panacea they can find. Some may turn to substances, but those who seek the herbs may not like what they find. Enter Connoisseur, a terrifying powerviolence monster housed on the always excellent Tankcrimes record label. Papa Joe and I both think this band brings a compelling blend of smoke and ash to their whirling, shifting assault. The band is both comfortable battering you and stepping back to deliver the “slowest powerviolence [attack] ever.” This is menacing stuff, and I hope your brain isn’t too clogged by resin to miss it. Check out Stoner Justice over on the Tankcrimes bandcamp page.


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As a final warning before the return of the grindprophet, I offer you Semtex Vest. Positive Energy Towards Negative Actions is actually a submission to our humble bowl, but I’m glad we could give these guys some coverage. Positive Energy is easily the most polished grind album featured here today, but it’s shiny in the way that a whirling morning star is shiny. When it hits, it’s still going to crush your skull. Fast, aggressive, crusty, headbanging, and ferocious, this is grind you can feel. The song-writing on display here is about as mature as you’ll find on a grind effort and definitely points to the ambitious and tangible talent this band possesses. For those of you who like your violent anthems to offer a bit more clarity and professionalism, don’t sleep on Semtex Vest. Get the album over at bandcamp.


I will leave you now with the grindprophet’s benediction. Prepare yourselves and…

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(Photo via one of my favorite places on the internet: r/birdswitharms)

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