Stay Grind: Bump n’ Grind, Vol. III
After a long day of riding in your armored caravan, you stumble upon the ramshackle ruins of another razed city. The hot, smog-shrouded sun overhead bakes the cracked soil and pavement beneath your feet, and the acrid stench of bloated corpses and drying blood wafts up to your nostrils. You pause next to a fallen column and survey the shattered landscape. Suddenly, an explosion knocks you to the parched earth, and your bleary vision swims in a sea of smoke and blinding flashes. You catch your breath and shake your head to regain focus. Suddenly, your enemy is upon you. Without mercy or hesitation you open fire, shredding his baleful body and freeing yourself for a moment’s reprieve to survey the field of battle. You fall into the fray, opening fire and trading bullet for bullet. Your comrades cheer and rally. Victory is within your grasp! But suddenly, a booming voice silences all opposition, and as you hear the whir of a mini-gun winding up, your resolve turns to liquid. With one commanding snarl, your courage, as well as your bowels, falters. “GRIND!” is the last word you hear before being granted passage from your mortal coil.
Howdy, grinders! As I’m wont to do from time to time, I’ve been slumming around in some of the weirder parts of the internet. One of my favorite seedy corners to frequent is the grindcore subreddit. You can find some hilarious, awful, and so awful it’s hilarious grind bands there, and I’ve got a special treat for you in the form of more hideous and malevolent audible hatred for your ear-holes. So gird your loins and grab your power tools. Let’s grind!
I’m going to start things off with something nasty. Amnesian are a vicious three-piece from British Columbia. At first glance, they may seem to write simplistic little hate tunes, but on the first half of Inhospitable, they make up for this in sheer aggression. Over the course of 7 short, violent bursts, this band assaults you with more d-beats, buzz-saw chords, and scathing shrieks than you can shake your severed hand at. Despite the more straight-forward approach, there are some nice moments where the band incorporates jarring tempo shifts or injects some space into the composition. Things get especially interesting on the last three tracks. “Symmetry Hymn” is a perfect example of the band’s ability to stick to the grind template while adding a pinch of flair. Inhospitable is a fantastic little flayer, so you should definitely pick it up for something over at Bandcamp.
Next up I’ve got Too Femme Too Furious by Pyka. This is another little scorcher that may be even nastier and more violent than Inhospitable. Waves of distortion crash against coruscating drum tattoos and accentuate the primal and animalistic barks. I’m not certain what Max is yelling about, but if I had to guess, I’d assume political ideals. I’ve previously mentioned that grindcore is the perfect platform for socio-political diatribes, and if I had to guess, I’d assume this band is waging a bloody, caustic war against sexism and rape culture. A noble effort, and I can’t imagine any opponent withstanding such a vitriolic assault for long. Too femme Too Furious is everything you could want in a violent little grind package. Check it out over at Bandcamp and help them fight the good fight.
For my third selection, I’ve got a demo tape by Nothing Clean. This is abrupt, juddering hardcore much more in the old-school punk leanings. I detect strains of Napalm Death’s body-strewn past and even hear bits of Agoraphobic Nosebleed in the sadistic interplay between the two vocalists. This demo is extremely short, even by grind standards, so you can easily press repeat and bang your head over and over again in an hour. Surrender to the furious distortion and rage within. Pick up the demo over at Bandcamp.
My penultimate offering today is the Dehumanizer tape by Archagathus. This is some disgusting, horrifying mincecore presented to you as two sides of a demon-possessed tape. Curious of what it sounds like? Imagine being trapped in that torture house in Saw 2 and being hunted down by dozens of the little Jigsaw mannequins all wielding angle grinders and hacksaws while some pustule-covered ebola zombie in the basement growls and vomits while dining on living victims. This is brutal, awful, and repulsive music, yet I’m strangely drawn to it. Neither side of the tape is overly long, nor is there a dearth of enough shifting dynamics and cascading blasts and buzzes to hold your attention. Prepare to be eviscerated in the most appalling and pleasing manner possible over at Bandcamp.
As the capstone on this wall of merciless sonic terror, I’ve selected something special. Many of you are constantly whining about a lack of diversity in grind or a lack of talent or some such nonsense. Well shut your pie-hole, because Of Men and Angel’s Flesh’s upcoming full-length Born in a World Where They Still Fear Gods is a brutal tour-de-force that crams a multitude of stylistic flourishes from all across the metal spectrum right up grindcore’s filthy rear. By toying with unconventional song structures, adopting elements from dissonant death metal (e.g. pinch harmonics and angular riffs), incorporating hard-rocking riffs and soulful solos, and even splashing in a touch of choral vocals, OMAAF manage to ascend to something far greater than a sum of their parts. Unconvinced? Submit your heretical mind to the violent majesty of “Jupiter’s Domain.” This monolithic declaration of purpose will pummel you into ebullient oblivion. Stream Born… over at Bandcamp and keep an eye out for the album to fully drop thisweek.