Tag Diving: Cybergrind
Why did I think this was a good idea?Tag diving can be a glorious exercise in discovering the hidden gems of our favorite online music service, Bandcamp. I’m following in the footsteps of legendary Toileteer Stockhausen, who has previously written various tag diving articles, doing the dirty work and finding the lesser-known goods within various genres and sometimes just descriptors. Recently, I felt inspired to do a dive of a somewhat obscure and challenging genre tag, “cybergrind.” It’s no secret that I am among the Toileteers enjoying the use of synths and other electronic tones while still maintaining a somewhat “metallic” sound. When looking for weirder, yet still heavy, noise, I found myself returning to a band I found on the Toilet: Futuristic Death Tank. Although they don’t actually use the tag on their Bandcamp, they are most certainly cybergrind. Thus, I went on a tag diving journey for similar material, hopeful I might find something like them, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, or perhaps Gridlink.
I must say, the results were somewhat disappointing. I mostly stumbled upon a weird mix of gore/pornogrind. I spent most of the time shielding my laptop screen from my girlfriend when she entered the room, lest she consider me some Buffalo Bill-esque degenerate. Browse at your own risk, but if you judge books by their covers then the individuals behind many of these albums probably deserve jail time. Regardless, I ended up embracing the absurdity of it all and enjoying some whacky tunes. What is the point of the internet as a music-distribution method if I can’t find ridiculous shit like this? Break out your highlighters, turn on your dark light, and grab your favorite energy drink. Dive with me, dear readers!
Alright, dust off your old CRT, plug in your SNES, and fire up the OG Super Mario World. Done? Great, now play it at 1000x the usual speed while smashing the SNES and the television to pieces. That’s what Koopa Karnage sounds like. Honestly, if it was anything less I would consider suing for false advertising. Is it good? No idea. Is it fun? Hell fucking yeah. Maybe it’s just the Beavis and Butthead sample at the beginning of “Arcade Cunt,” but Koopa Karnage brings me back to the elementary school age sleepovers. These were the days when fart jokes reigned supreme and social status was determined by who could fuck everyone else up in Smash Bros and Mario Kart. It puts me in the mind of an eight year old riding high on Mountain Dew, pizza, chicken wings, and some Cheetos for dessert. With only five tracks split across two demos, I’m hoping we hear more soon, because it’s more addicting than the MSG hiding in all that junk food. I need MORE!!!
I don’t think I’m able to fully embrace such nostalgia without getting into some chiptune and 8bit territory. These are fairly unexplored waters for me, and I am sure it will be hotly contested among those in the comment section. If the words “weeb” and “locker” are not used, then Papa Joe is going to shut the whole blog down. That said, the haters can suck it. Grindboy Advance is pretty heavy. I’m not the biggest fan of the vocals found on his (the description says one “man,” so I’m assuming his gender) latest demo, but the instrumentals are pretty awesome. Grindboy Advance obviously has a strong 8bit influence, but there’s still a lot of grind sneaking in to the mix. Some of the chiptune sounds have a synthy vibe to them also, with some almost neo-classically influenced running of the scales. Cry WEEB all you want, but there’s a lot to enjoy here if you’re a metalhead. My Cheeto-stained fingers are reaching for my Gameboy right now.
Alright, it’s about time we get to an album that actually feels like a grindcore album. 56 tracks in 23 minutes, that’s what I’m fucking talk about. PC Gamer transports us to our later teen years, spent huddled over greasy keyboards and shaming noobs in various MMOs, MOBAs, First-Person Shooters, and whatever the fuck else the PC-master race crowd played (console pleb reporting for duty here). Look at this goddamn album art. This makes me want to snort up some GFuel and join a bizarrely hacked Call of Duty 4 lobby. This feels like true cybergrind to me and it is relentless. The programmed drums and electronics are threatening to blow out my speakers, but it doesn’t matter because I’m out here 420BLazEiTnOScoPinG some noobs. I might be hallucinating at this point, but I’m pretty sure “If you think your quad core pc can run civ v at 60fps you’re out of your fucking mind” is the greatest goddamn song ever recorded. If 4chan had a national anthem, PC Gamer would be it. I want them to play a live show so I can show up wearing a fedora and a Guy Fawkes mask. I hope this happens.
Saving the best for last (and I’m actually being serious here), we have CyberGrindr. This album showed up pretty randomly on my Bandcamp last week and pretty much sparked this tag diving session. 21 tracks lasting just over a half an hour in length and it’s all instrumentals, though CyberGrindr notes that vocals and lyrics to come. I was the first on Bandcamp to buy the album (I got an email to prove it!), so I’m excited to see where this project goes. It reminds me a lot of Master Boot Record, but heavier. There’s some sweet downtuned riffs that combine with some inhumanly fast programmed drums. Unlike a lot of cybergrind, the drums are a little more in the background, so you can still enjoy the surprisingly tight riffs. The synths and electronic tones added on top give the whole record a foreboding and dystopic vibe. Fully Automated Psychic Violence 0.9 sounds like a computer virus that causes the apocalypse. So, not as silly as the aforementioned material, but there’s still a whole lot of fun and headbanging to be had. Plus, I’m really in the mood to read some Gibson or Stephenson now. Never a bad thing.
Anyway, that concludes my tag diving adventure. It was fun, but think I lost some brain cells scrolling past all that porno and gore grind. I did it only for you, dear reader. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on some of these bands, especially CyberGrindr. I’ll probably be using PC Gamer whenever I want to troll some stupid normies, so I’m looking forward to that as well. Hope you enjoyed it, or not, because you’re probably just a beta loser. YEP!!!