The Whole Five Inches (Review: Noothgrush / Suppression Split)

Well, well, well, what do we have here? A forgotten relic from the golden days of late 90’s powerviolence, finally unearthed and distributed on a dainty little 5” disc (the needle drop for this one is an operation that requires military precision – kids, don’t try this without an adult present!) by the fine folk at Fuck Yoga Records.

Let’s not beat around the bush - “Flee From Hunger And Disease” is classic Noothgrush. This track was recently exhumed on ‘Live for Nothing’, the band’s Southern Lord issued live compilation, but this is the first time its studio counterpart has been unleashed on the general public – and what a beauty it is! Every slow, punishing note is imbued with that crippling weight and unmistakeable sense of malice that has always marked this band out as one of sludge’s finest practitioners, who are somehow able to sound enormously energetic even whilst churning away on the most lethargic of sluggers. The song ends with the trio riding one of those gloriously fucked up but boldly groovy trademark riffs into a fade out that always leaves me clamouring for more!

I’ll ‘fess up that I was totally unfamiliar with Suppression before hearing this split; needless to say, I’d be kicking my own arse right now if these guys hadn’t just beaten me to it and blasted my posterior into a bloody pulp. These guys sound pissed, not in the sense of “hey, let’s down a few beers with our buddies and play some fast tunes” pissed, but the kind of “I haven’t eaten in days, I’ve just been laid off, my house has burnt down, and slamming on these six strings is the only thing stopping me from going postal and wiping out as much of the world’s population as I possibly can” pissed that few bands are able to function under. After a quick bit of brain cell rearranging noise, the aptly titled “Amputated Brain Stem” bursts out of nowhere and absolutely destroys all in its path. This song has floored me every time I’ve spun it, and is a strong contender for the nastiest, most righteous slab of powerviolence I’ve heard this year. Considering said tune barely reaches the 40 second mark, that’s quite an accomplishment!

Don’t baulk at the size, as this is no mere novelty record. The short running time may be an enormous tease, but both these bands are on the top of their game here, and it would have been a most heinous crime if this tantalising morsel had been lost in the mists of time forever. It’s not every day a release boasts the best of sludge, noise and powerviolence and then delivers all that and more in the space of three minutes, and for that reason alone this little beauty deserves a cherished space in your collection.

Noothgrush Facebook

Suppression Facebook

Fuck Yoga Records Website

Grindcore Karaoke Download

The Prince And The Pauper (Review: Human Waste/Chetwrecker, Cacophonous Grind Storm, 2012)

Split releases can sometimes be a bit of a mixed bag; at their best, they’re a satisfying and horizon-broadening combo of two separate bands that coalesce into a single unified listening experience, but sometimes an unbalanced pairing can leave one of the acts totally outshined by the other. This recent cassette split on DIY label Thrash Mouth Records promises a ‘Cacophonous Grind Storm’, and, to its credit, half of it delivers this and then some.

Despite their generic name (a quick Google search reveals some German goregrinders, an Italian grind band, a bunch of Swedish crusties and a Spanish tech-death outfit with the same moniker), San Franciso’s grottiest sons Human Waste are a true force to be reckoned with, delivering a rancid barrage of filth that spews out of your speakers like a gutful of vomit hitting the pavement after several days of heavy alcohol abuse. After a sample of what appears to be a particularly irate war veteran embarking on a desperate rampage, ‘Left To Rot’ begins with an anarchic and sloppy introduction, before eventually warming up into a no-nonsense Insect Warfare style clusterfuck. This doesn’t let up at all as ‘Return To Nothing’ crashes into your cranium at warp speed directly after with barely a pause for breath. The proceedings grind to a halt as ‘Swarm’ lumbers into view like a severely intoxicated tramp that’s just cornered you in a dark alley, but this doesn’t last long as within seconds we’re launched straight back into an absolutely devastating succession of blasts and shrieks culminating in a crusty groove that would have Extreme Noise Terror foaming at the mouth, before coming to an abrupt stop. Human Waste take no prisoners here, barging in, ransacking your eardrums and then fleeing off into the night just as quickly as they came, like a bunch of dirty, no-good grind marauders with careless disregard for anyone’s personal safety. In other words, this is the kind of good, old-fashioned pissed off grindcore that’s sure to get your pulse racing and your first pounding. Bravo!

Unfortunately Chetwrecker are left standing in the dust by this display of grinding Armageddon. Their crude, super lo-fi take on powerviolence is not totally devoid of charm, but ultimately feels a little half-arsed. Call me spoilt, but their faster sections never seem to reach the same face melting fury as many of their contemporaries, and their slower segments are almost completely lacking in drive and power. These guys utilise that angry Neanderthal vocal approach that normally fills me with joy but even these sound slightly lazy here. Tracks like ‘False Thesis’ provide a reasonable amount of blastin’ entertainment, and some of the song structures are suitably schizophrenic, but it doesn’t help that the band are bringing virtually nothing new to the table, and there are dozens of similar sounding bands out there that are doing this kind of thing with way more intensity than these guys. Whilst Human Waste wasted no time in grinding you into submission, Chetwrecker’s material seems pretty flabby by comparison; if they’d trimmed away some of the fat, their side of the split may have seemed more appealing. It’s hardly the worst powerviolence release I’ve ever heard, but I can’t really give this a thorough recommendation given the vast number of other like-minded acts out there that are way more worthy of your time (the recent To The Point 7” being a prime example).

All things considered, this isn’t a bad split at all, and is probably worth it just for Human Waste’s side alone. Both bands have made their respective contributions available for free via their Bandcamp pages, and you can also pick up the tape for a measly 3 dollars through Thrash Mouth Records (but not if you live in the UK, frustratingly enough!) I know I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Human Waste, and only time will tell whether Chetwrecker will blossom into a band of the same calibre or not.

Thrash Mouth Records

I'd rather drink than fuck (Agoraphobic Nosebleed/ANS Split Tribute to Gang Green)

I don't think I transitioned correctly or even at all from the usual music reviewed on here to hardcore. Well how about this: a fucking great grindcore band and an ace punk band covering a fucking amazing and legendary hardcore band? Agoraphobic Nosebleed and ANS joined together last year to pay tribute to Gang Green. Three tracks total are found on this 5" split E.P. Agoraphobic Nosebleed opens up this E.P with "Alcohol." ANS follows with "Let's Drink Some Beer". The third track on this E.P is an ANS original, which I fucking loved, "Blazing Saddles." They printed 100 copies on "coke white" vinyl, 300 on "gin clear" and 600 on "beer/piss yellow." If you are not familiar with one or any of these bands (shame on you if you're not familiar with at least one of these bands. What the fuck are you doing? Where the hell have you been? Get to downloading!)I suggest you check all of them out as soon as you can. Personally, I need to get myself a copy of the beer/piss yellow print, since the rest are already all gone.