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Alternate title: Waum bumpet und grindet ihr nicht?
Once again, it’s been a while since I got around to one of these – I had fallen out of love with grindcore for a couple of months. But today, I am happy to be able to bring you weird fish, strange growths, and smoking owls, most of which do a great job to illustrate the variety that the genre has to offer.
Also once again, it is Bandcamp Friday, where 100% of the proceeds go to the artists. At the time of this writing, the Grid album is not on there yet, but you’ll be able to throw some money at the other artists (and the rest of Selfmadegod’s excellent catalog, of course). On that note, I’d like to point out that Closet Witch – occasionally featured in the past – have recently released their full discography on a name-your-price basis. Get on that shit!
Grid – Livsteda
Selfmadegod Records | September 11, 2020
After my prolonged absence from grind, Grid managed to ease me back in by offering something just slightly above sheer brutality. The occasional melodies bring a pleasant breeze of fresh air without feeling like they’re harping on the same mood in every song. Beyond that, there’s not too much to say; you’ve got your d-beats and your blasts, your dual vocal setup, and your somewhat experimental song in the middle. After the glorious instrumental finale, you’re not likely to remember a whole lot, but might find your appetite whet for more.
Gride – Hluboká temná modř (compilation)
Indpenedent/L’Inphantile Collective | 2019/2020
Apart from a similarity in the name, Gride are a wholly different beast than Grid. This sounds like a crust punk band went to space, ran into an alien entity (possibly Psudoku), and are now trying to both emulate and translate what they learned. And they’re astoundingly successful at it. Despite the overall chaos, the multitude of breaks and tempo changes, and the often dissonant guitars, it never feels like they’re being random for the sake of randomness. It can be a taxing listen, but there’s usually a sense of coherence to everything, and the “human factor” gets more pronounced as you get deeper into the release, i.e. backwards in their discography, this being a collection of their latest EP and two splits.
Perfecitizen – Humanipulation
Independent/L’Inphantile Collective | August 1, 2020
Moving one step further away from anything resembling sanity, we have the misshapen portmanteau Perfecitizen, which makes me about as uncomfortable as the music lurking behind it. This is pretty technical deathgrind with a manic energy that bounces all over the place, and the constant uncertainty about what the next part of a song will be can get exhausting. Will another gravity blast come out of nowhere? Will it be a jazzy freestyle part? More djenty chuggs perhaps? That peculiarly nasal clean singing that reminds me of funk metal? A stretch of actually decent grind? There are plenty of the latter, but they do little to console me, seeing as no part ever stays longer than thirty seconds and the resulting zig-zagging just sounds chaotic to me. Maybe someone with higher tech affinity will get something out of this though.
Napalm Ted – Drop Attack
Independent | July 3, 2020
After all that, a record that kicks off with a short sample and a d-beat is balm for the soul. The slightly dirty sound helps, too, and the absolutely anguished vocals often feel very fitting (the second half of “Little Joe” features a particularly deranged performance). Add to that a pinch of death metal influence used to craft proper songs and riffs you might actually remember, and you’ve got a full Vince McMahon meme going here. The gruff vocals could sound a bit better in places, but ultimately, both vocalists really help the band stand out and make this experience even more noteworthy. Absolutely exceeds expectations.
Fawn Limbs – Sleeper Vessels
Independent | September 18, 2020
Back in the fray we go, although I don’t dislike this as much as their last effort. Mathy, chaotic grind is still the name of the game, and while I won’t claim I can make much sense of it, at least I’m not completely overwhelmed by it, either. Songs like “Trespasser” and “Corruption Aperture” are completely bonkers, so much so that you kinda can’t help but be in awe, but the latter offers a good example of the frequent quiet passages that offer some much-needed peace and which I don’t remember from the last album. I do remember some noise elements, but here, electronics are often used to directly manipulate the instruments or the vocals, making those parts feel integrated better. Everything seems to gel together just a tad better than before, so I’m at least starting to see the appeal.
Mustasuo – Katharsis
Off Records | June 5, 2020
Cool back down with some straightforward crusty grind – or so I thought for about two songs. The intro and the spaced-out middle part of the third song, however, make it clear that there’s something more going on here. Indeed, the fourth song introduces Mustasao’s propensity for sludge and doom, while later on, “Tuhoaja” gets downright grungy. I’m also sensing slight hints of contemporary black metal, all in all making for a genre mix similarly elaborate as that of Dephosphorus, even if the different styles are more compartmentalized here. I don’t know if they also sing about space, but the sound of the record makes it seem like everything is taking place under a vast, dark sky, with the band shouting into a void. This record was an awesome surprise, and I’ll be back for more.