Teethgrinder believe in nothing, will cut off your johnson with Nihilism
You think they are kidding and making with the funny stuff? I assure you, they are not.
I first heard of The Netherlands’ Teethgrinder through this very site, and I was never quite able to get their Hellbound EP out of my head. I’ve become a huge fan in recent years of the no frills/hi gain sound of bands like Trap Them, All Pigs Must Die, YAITW and numerous others, but Teethgrinder always had a distinct sense of knowing the right things to strip away from an already stripped-away genre and knowing how to streamline their compositions into leaner, meaner beasts than their peers. Their previous release Misanthropy has been one of my listening staples in the latter half of 2016 when life suddenly became stupidly stressful and only hateful auditory ugliness could ease the pain. Let’s see how this new ugliness stacks up.
Picking up where the outro of their last album Misanthropy left off, “Somnambulent” greets the listener with feedback and wide, anthemic riffs set to sound clips of propaganda speeches. When “The Soil Has A Thirst For Blood” kicks in, it’s immediately clear Teethgrinder have not lost their appetite for getting right to the fucking point. With buzzsawing guitar and greasy bass tones grinding away at maximum ugliness, there’s a brief stutter before absolute windmilling chaos. “Isolation” follows the A.B.B. rule for its first half before switching gears and halving the tempo into a neck-aching stomp riff that segues into a calm outro.
Think this is a good spot for a slow song? Wrong. MORE BLASTING. “The Pain Exceeds The Fear” trucks in a whole ton of swirling dissonance in between sections of full-bore blasting and slower rhythmic chords, all the while the vocals screaming in anguish even as the guitar string tension bottoms out to pure loosened sludge by the song’s end. “Force Fed Ideologies” continues the theme of mosh pit bliss with an under-two-minute blastfest before slowly creeping into the dirge pair of “Carnist” and “Sicarius,” whose tempos are halved from previous tracks without diminishing any of the album’s momentum.
“Pale Flowers,” in my opinion, is the best track on the album. With its absolute wall-to-wall riff density and fretboard frenetics crammed into every second, the fierceness is particularly well-suited to the antagonistic film samples that begin and end the song. “Bite The Hand That Feeds” takes the opportunity to open things up on the final track with simple brassy chords that allow the rhythm section to sit back and groove while the guitar carves out a soaring solo more in the vein of classic rock than underground filth, and it works beautifully.
Jonathan (vox), Mart (guitar), Jabe (bass & vox) and Wieger (drums) aren’t playing anything groundbreaking or revelatory, but rather play an especially razor-edged version of blackened grind/hardcore. Riffs are unstable powder kegs that explode and drop out with little notice, broiling away with thick, HM-2 density. The drums are rarely anything other than maximum, boasting precision and a large amount of human element as the band strives to all keep up with each other through each song’s pandemonium. Vocals are pained, bitter and howling, sharing lyrical themes with the misanthropic film dialogue samples that accompany many songs (summary: the world sucks, you suck, fuck you). Songs are direct, immediate and never overstay their welcome. They show up, make violent threats of johnson-cutting and leave without so much as dropping a single marmot of studio bloat in your tub of listening pleasure.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, be sure to pick up Nihilism this Friday or check out a full album stream over at Terrorizer.