It has been too long since we have Bumped and Grinded (ground?), ladies and gentlemen. Dr. Seuss was a wise man and if you need evidence of that, look no further than the header image above. The statement alone clearly translates to keeping things short and sweet. Therein lies the beauty of metal’s most uncompromising subgenre. You know what you’re going to get – unrelenting furious bursts of rage that come and go in the blink of an eye. And when done correctly, the payoff is always one that is rewarding to the listener. Enough with the small talk, let’s go forth and GRIND!!!!
Calm The Fire
Ever wonder what bands like Trap Them and Nails would sound like without the benefit of that super sweet Kurt Ballou production/recording? Well Calm The Fire’s sound benefits them for the lack of sheen and the abundance of muddy, dirty crust that engulfs their HM-2 infused assault. Yes, it’s like peeling back a layer of something that is aesthetically pleasing to the ears only to find that when you take the clothes off, it’s still just as heartwarming, welcoming and friendly as that which you cherish. This Polish outfit is doing things I like. Their grinding, crusty, d-beat attack fused with early Swedish death metal is all that’s right with the world. Throw in some expertly timed breakdowns and some middle finger one note fuck you solos and you are good to go. This is the kind of stuff that makes you want to drive a bulldozer through traffic to discover that the cause of the accident was some Fast and The Furious loving Audi driver who cherishes multitasking so much that he thought texting while driving in rush hour traffic was a good idea and subsequently rear-ended the car in front of him to the point of lane closure. Thanks jerk, I now want to summon Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorf in his prime and have him piledrive you on the hood of your car. Sorry for being so violent and belligerent, I blame this on Calm The Fire; it’s all their fault.
There’s two ways to know for sure if a shitstorm is coming to your town. The first is in the form of an orange goblin dumpster fire human that is running for President Of The United States. The other is if this Miami-based grind violence unit happens to be gracing you with their presence. The visit will be short lived however because this release in particular is seven tracks over the span of three minutes. Think early Napalm Death meets Weekend Nachos. Let’s face it, these guys live up to their billing by taking a giant shit on everything. Who writes songs that go on for less than 30 seconds on average and simultaneously make you just want to level everything in your path? These guys, that’s who. No apologies, no regrets, no fucks given. The band is called Shitstorm and they have a reputation to uphold. Update: While the seven tracks in the three minutes here are most gratifying, I caved in and forked over another two bucks for six more tracks in two minutes.
Shitstorm is the perfect segue into our next selection, Australia’s Blight Worms. You probably just finished listening to the Shitstorm release and thought to yourself, “But Mr. Deuce, I bought both the split with Radiation and the split with Congo Fury and the running time is only a little more than a quarter of my favorite apocalyptic twenty-one minute doom track.” Well hold tight there buster because Blight Worms are prepared to meet you a third of the way with seven bangers in seven minutes. These Aussies grind and thrash over punk riffs at the speed of a blast beat. The influences here are Phobia and Insect Warfare with vocals that are screamed at the absolute top of the lungs. And for the low low price of one ‘Stralian ducket, this fine release can be yours. If the price is too high then strap on a pair of your favorite tattered crust punk pants and stand out in front of your local convenience store with an empty coffee cup and beg for change. You should be able to round up that kind of coin in no time. And I can’t finish this off without a comment on the cover art. This looks like Abe Lincoln was transported into the future from his time and was initially impressed with the technological advances that society has made, but was ultimately repulsed at what our politics have become so he gave himself a next level face palm in utter disgust. His true wish was to be transported back in time so that John Wilkes Booth could bust a cap in his head again.
True story: Within previewing four tracks of Haut&Court’s Troffea, I contacted digital mailmanbro and had him promptly deliver this album to my inbox because I was floored in the way one gets floored when the unfortunate loser of a boxing match gets knocked to the canvas in dazzling fashion. Yes, it is that good my people. If you have a soft spot in your heart for band’s like Nasum and Magrudergrind then you should absolutely pause whatever it is that has the attention of your eardrums and put this on instead. There’s something in the water in the nation of France that makes certain bands jump out at you, and Haut&Court is one of those bands. They play an adrenaline rushed cocktail of in your face death grind that refuses to be ignored. All the elements that make up a great grind band are here: desecration of the drum kit via blast beats and loose punk thrashing, high/low vocal attack, riffs that drive nails into the wood of a coffin and songs that are short yet full of intensity and urgency. And the recording is the icing on the crust er cake. Grindcore gets a pass for sounding like total drek because that’s usually what the band is going for. On Troffea, Haut&Court make it just dirty and crusty enough without sounding too polished to make for a pleasant journey down a barb wired fence worth of twelve tracks that had me listening to this album over 300 times in the past month. If that’s a problem, I take great pleasure in knowing that’s a problem.
Mothman is not your prototypical grind band by any means. They just happen to be a band that is tailor made for me. By that I mean, these guys figured out how to take grindcore’s format and phrase it within the confines of chaotic hardcore. For the Converge fans that are reading this who love when they go apeshit for a couple songs on their full lengths and reign down on you with nothing but blast beats, punk thrashing and four measures of a breakdown in the span of one minute, Mothman does that for the better part of an entire album; twenty tracks to be exact. After hearing this several times, it takes me back to when I first heard Pig Destroyer’s Prowler In The Yard and the impact it had on me at the time. There was nothing like it and the way it twisted and turned you over the course of multiple songs with seemingly no end in sight. Answers To No One does precisely that. It refuses to stop, it has its foot on your throat the entire time and it’s not taking its foot off until it’s convinced that you are out of breath. It is the definition of relentless. OK, I’m done talking now. Try to square away a half hour of your time and give this a spin because it is off the charts good.
I have nothing further. In parting, I give you The Beatles with their riveting rendition of Anal Cunt’s “Beating Up Hippies For Their Drugs At a Phish Concert”. (h/t Slave To The Grind for unearthing this gem)