Poland

Review: Squash Bowels, Grindcoholism 2013

Ahh goregrind the proverbial stone in my shoe of "genres Alex has clear opinions about", as much as I bemoan large swaths of the genre for having all the appeal of a water downed early Carcass clone tacked with appalling death metal splints that uninspiredly regurgitate pseudo-medical-bdsm horror by way of guttural excretions, buuuuuuuuuuttttttt there are always a handful of bands who smash my malcontent like a brick through a glass pane, forcing me to eat my shards of prejudice to the tune of their oh so wonderful gutter grind. If you haven't guessed it already Squash Bowels are on such group of aural butchers that highlight my hypocrisy, but then I ask you surely no blast beat addict can turn down those deepset broad groovy booms Squash Bowels whirl at you? 

Grindcoholism, certainly does justice to the addictive attachment we expect both of an album of such a title and the bands legacy. The pathology behind Grindcoholism is an organic enhancement of the bands earlier H1N1 afflicted epidemic Grindvirus that hit the brown note some time in 2009. Whilst I would be reluctant to say there is anything novel in the way of characteristic evolution between the two, therefore being one and the same taxonomically speaking  Grindcoholism is clearly a stronger refinement to the species. The most notable bacterial cultivation would be that Grindcoholism metabolism has dropped down a gear in both tempo and in pitch, those infectious strains of blast beaten groove rumble at lower levels and with a wider lethargic sprawl;  trudger tracks like Trap epitomise this intensification. Whilst I am usually loathe to any process of deceleration of a grind band, the end result here is much finer, the interplay between the various instruments and vocals, and the various passages themselves are completely clear of any stutter, making for one smooth session of surgery even if lacking in any anaesthetic or medical training for that matter. 

Squash Bowels

Available at SelfMadeGod

 

Review: Antigama, Meteor 2013

Polands alchemical grinders Antigama have always been a difficult band to deconstruct, whilst renowned for their elliptical progressions and other worldy soundscapes of dissonance their angularity doesn't quite align with the post discordance axis rat pack of bands who also have managed to temper melodic undercurrents in an otherwise conflicting disharmony. The tradjectory of Antigama is a rhythmic anomaly its origin and destination seemingly unknown, yet we remain star struck by its alien magnificence. 

The latest happenings from the cosmic body known as Meteor is predictably unpredictable, the outline is an ever spiralling abyss of grindage to be juxtaposed against the starlight of apparitional melodic strains erupting in consuming hot miasmas of sonic intensification and induced in such a fashion to defy the very laws of physics itself. Meteor fluctuates with a non-linear narrative its various ebbs and flows seemingly more distant than earlier observations, yet even so the bands whimsical sense of direction mantains its supernatural grip on the listener with a continious flow of intrigue and suspense, the bands mastery of illusion and hypnotism pressed into a more uberous and evident materialisation. Much to my personal dismay the high fidelity audio quality does little in giving an insight to what processes are able to conjure such a quizzical piece of music, but does serve to magnify the intensity of the experience. The Antigama paradox remains the bands greatest asset. their music representing a manichean titan of both harmony and disharmony simultaneously, like a circle any point is mirrorerd by its opposite yer represents not only a continuation of itself, but its very essence of being.

Meteor is not only an assualt on the senses, but an assualt on reason itself. 

Antigama

Purchase a copy from Self Made God Records

Review: Ojciec Dyktator, 666cm 2013

Polands Ojciec Dyktator, translated as father dictator - mayhaps a mocking reference to one of Polands most controversially powerful men Ojciec Tadeusz Rydzyk , have about as much grace as one would expect of Godzilla attempting to do the nutcracker, helplessly wreaking havoc and fear with each and every step, but who the bloody hell needs grace when you exude an insidious blend of vulgarity and humours both sonic and lyrical by the metric tonne? Ojciec Dyktator posses a ravishing blast beat gusto and a particularly beastly heft in sound that when plucked agitates like a territorial Rhino pent up on testosterone, and whilst they aren't the fastest animal in the grindcore kingdom although still pretty damn nimble, the sheer weight behind those clashes substitutes just as nicely as breaching the sound barrier. It is however as one would expect of bulkier beasts that the more natural and dignified moments come in those condensing mid paced moments that growl and grumble in more comfortable environs where there is no need for distress and primal displays of might and power for here the beast is King and need only act like one rather than fight to be one.  

Whilst opening track and album title track 666cm play out like Nasum taking a lesson in harmonics from Corrupted  things get fervently more tense pretty quick therein-after and Ojciec Dyktator begin to take their own stylistic reins bringing down a strong derivative variant of Assuckian death grind less heavy on the blast beat patterning, but with more thrust and uniformity in the overall rhythmic momentum. The infrequent use of pig squeals is a fundamental annoyance to the release, but other than that the music is pretty solid, what particularly nabbed my attention was the creative and satirical song titles, from Black Metal slander (Gaygoroth) to anti-religious sentiment combined with drug references (St Francis of Hashishi) and not forgetting the bands stamped declaration of anti-politics and anti-religion located on the rear of the CD artwork, Ojciec Dyktator seem like a band that bring the right amount of fun without being goofy and the right amount of brutality and seriousness without being lifeless and with 666cm that synergy really shows. 

Ojciec Dytator

CD's are available at EveryDayHate

No Smoke Without Fire (Review: Extreme Smoke 57 / H Incident 2012)

extremesmokehinicidentsplit.jpg

Musical theory and mechanics alas aren't really in my faculties of cognition, everything in my review repertoire being construed from emotional perception, an amateurish grasp on the fundamentals and a complacency found by the sheer quantity of music I expose myself to, that I may pick up on distinctions and similarities offering some level of comparability when writing. At best I am an overenthusiastic fan who lacks a decent hobby and thus commit myself to this passion, and like any fan who pays too much attention to something crackpot notions and fan theories are bound to spring up. One such theory I subscribe to, a sentiment probably shared by many already is that grindcore is an umbrella genre, ie its not limited to a particular set of rules or standards, but instead is a collection of various play styles, although different in content and expression share a similar alignment and thus are grouped together; the recent pairing in wax of slavic brothers in grind Extreme Smoke 57 and H-Incident being an obnoxious piece of evidence to such a claim. 

So first up is Slovenia's Extreme Smoke 57, who in an alternate universe alongside other continental European grind fathers like Patareni and Schismopathic are given their rightful due for their lessor role in shaping the genre back in the genres infantile years. In any case their 15 years on ice came to an end back in 2008 and this recent exploit alongside two other splits form their forray into the world of 21st century grind. The tail end of their earlier sounds came across as an outrageous brawling mess of Sore Throat, with an unyielding fanaticism placed on speed, brevity of songs and bordering on the confines of noise, yet this recent expedition seems to tone down much of that in great sizeable chunks in place of  more grooving rumbles and spittling simmers of noisegrind tenacity. Clearly their time in absence has been cruel to them and cut down on their reflexability and dulled their hearing, however this is a limitation the band have realised for they have acted upon it quite fiercely forsaking much of their past and developed a tight frollocking Bathtubshitter type groove, gutter and absurdities, even so though its an austere demotion that yanks them into mediocrity. That being said though their trinity of tracks have no shortage of character, a bizzare sticky sort that will find you taken unawares by the peculiar rebellious guitar rolls, even after repeated listens. Extreme Smoke 57 are somewhat outgunned by their legacy and whats on offer on the grind scene currently, but their side itself ain't half bad, an innate eccentricity that is interesting to say the least. 

Polands H-Incident occupy the B side of this release and tear out some callous grind grit, to whom in grind we crust is a directive served out with intense barbarity. Its the violent elements of G-Anx sheathed with buzzsaw guitar work, and is bound to make you keel over in aural convulsion, its philistine tone hellbent on offering a fortified expression of choleric wrath, abandoning all niceties and musical civilities and sophistication's in favour of a strong arm of grind primalism. Although not usually one for wasteful intros that have no bearing on the core content, the rightfully titled chaos introduction sets the mood just right, a sampling of violence before H Incident come stomping in and letting all hell break loose; sampling bleeding in at the end of the release also, depressurizing it from its inflamed temperament. There is something highly effective about the storm of burly guitar fuzz, ferocious blasts and intense screams which are all thrown together clashing violently that satisfies the inner brute in you. Even when H-Incident try to go all civilised and peace-punx with its penultament track Bands of Fools, it serves nothing more than to build the hunger for that eruption of musical bastardry again, to which after a minute of respite they drop the decorum and go back to hammering your in head in. The duo let loose all those years of punk bile in 5 minute outburst of unpretentious to the point musical flagellation, and although much to the detriment of my physical well being I would love to see something more lengthy from them.

Grindfather Production

Suffer the Kegs(Review: Suffering Mind/The Afternoon Gentlemen, 2012)

Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
— P. J. O'Rourke

Suffering Mind / The Afternoon Gentlemen

Now this split is an ideal cross-section of just why Grind is in such an exciting state of affairs right now, fuck your nostalgia because grind is reaching new heights right here and right now, this split being a strong point in case.

First up is Poland's old school grind fanatics Suffering Mind, whose zero bullshit approach to grindcore purity is everything we want from grindcore and so much more. Caustic riffs that turmoil in cavernous depths, resonating that down-tuned richness  with an unflinching cimmerian shade of character are the defining feature of Suffering Mind, drawn from the bleak density of Assucks Misery Index and applied indiscriminately to their vast array of canonical grind and crust formulations.  Drums are dutiful and consistently violent dicing up the austere riff work and giving a nice bite and punishing factor to the half. However the piercing differentiation between the low end howls and high register screeches are a rapacious momentum that one never forgets about Suffering Mind, a traumatic exploit that leaves their song work rattling amongst your cognitive processes long after the record has stopped playing. Indicative of the quality of their half, their cover of World of Confusion as originally by Assuck trumps the original in every which way.

Flipping the split 180 degrees is big time boozing 5 piece The Afternoon Gentlemen, who likely only formed a band to justify their rampant alcoholism and to procure that lovely cheap foreign booze and duty free under the ruse of a European tour, little wonder the band have played well over 150 gigs in their time; every time they fancy a piss up they schedule it to coincide with a gig. Their idiosyncratic take on grind draws inspiration from a vast array of both musical and drinkable inspirations and sources, with gut rotting fuel such as White Ace having as much of a crediting role as any band to have had a major influence on them. Their alcohol inhibited sense of delusion and skewered creative process surprisingly comes off well, being a catalyst not only to their out the box inventiveness, but in a bizarre state of affairs has doubled to form a strong set of quality control, each song being as enjoyable as the last, the listener placed at a front row seat to some grindcore circus. Its an abstract entanglement of grind, fastcore and powerviolence which still offers the core fundamentals of punishing audio only in an absurdist kind of way. Where most grind bands are kicking it GTA stylegunning for maximum carnage, The Gents are doing the same only Saints Row III style