Written by: The Administrator
Before the music journalism Inquisition rakes my haggard frame over hot coals, let me make something clear: I don't make it a practice to read reviews of music I plan to write about. I like my thoughts to be my own, uninfluenced--willingly or no--by what others have said. But some rules are made to be broken, especially when the band's first EP cites, on bandcamp, a god-awful review in lieu of a typical about-us section. Seems like required reading in my book.
Despite what said review will have you think, the duo that constitutes Revered and Reviled Above All Others is not mediocre. Neither is their output boring, nor (my personal favorite) "listless music." While this release's six brand new tracks and accompanying Napalm Death cover admittedly bear a vague mark of maturity in contrast to their previous effort (which are repackaged on the cassette version of Toppling the Rotten Pillar), I am here to wholeheartedly assert that none of those prior adjectives apply. Y'know, in this scribe's humble assessment.
Written by: Arzou
Undesiccated’s new release, צֶמַח (tseh'-makh), is...quite odd. The EP is like eating a $4 TV dinner. It’s pretty good, but there’s that inner feeling of guilt and shame knowing there are much more quality and healthy food options out there. Let me try to explain why.
First, to get the blatantly obvious out of the way before even listening to the EP: why do the songs have numbers in front of them? I’m not talking track listing numbers. I’m talking numbers like 29, 32, etc. etc., and in somewhat random order too? I was curious so I dug through their bandcamp and saw that every release was like this. The only reason I can think of this is that the band is numbering every song they made to keep count, but not changing the name of the song when uploading to bandcamp. This sort of lack of care and/or amateurism almost prevented me from listening to the EP all together, and yet I did out of blatant curiosity. Which leads to my next point.
Written by: Arzou
ACxDC (Antichrist Demoncore, for the cool kids - Ed.) is to powerviolence as Gutalax is to goregrind. Extremely popular but disliked by the fans of the genre. After releasing their debut self-titled LP in 2014, people have been waiting for a follow up either with excitement or baited breath, ready to throw “ACxDC bad” comments wherever they can. Well it’s here, ACxDC’s Satan is King has been released with 15 songs and 23 minutes, and I’ll tell you what: if Satan is King then Satan is one milquetoast dude.
You see, another similarity ACxDC have with Gutalax is that they are both, despite their popularity, very mediocre. That parallel still reigns true with this album. It checks all the boxes of a good powerviolence album, blistering and skulldenting riffs, slow and crushing sludgy riffs, the ability to confuse grind babies into thinking it’s grind. Should be a good one, right? Well if you think reading a textbook is really fun then this might be the album for you. Despite all the checked boxes it feels like ACxDC really just did the bare minimum and created a bland and tasteless cake able to be consumed by the masses but unable to be remembered by anyone.
Ten minutes is, in the grand scheme, not a whole lot of time to assert yourself. Nor is it much of an allotment if you’re looking to make a profound point. But, despite a tendency to maintain a certain established aesthetic, the world moves quickly in the collective grungy underworld of crust punk, grind, and powerviolence. Bands operating in this arena do not debate--rather, they launch a vicious diatribe and disappear back into the crowd, eschewing reflection or extended discussion in favor of immediacy and brevity. I don’t know why I’m lecturing at this stage, though. If you like this particular flesh-peeling brand of extreme music, you already know the score. All this is to say, then, that on their latest effort, UK’s raging Negative Thought Process stick to this tried-n-true approach, delivering a blistering onslaught in less time than it takes to make breakfast. I know this because, in the course of making breakfast today (and the day before, and the day before that,) I was able to get the full dose of stomping aggression before my toast was done.
Written by: Izzy
The instant I heard the single “Earth and Sky," I knew I wanted to review To Dull the Blades of Your Abuse. Only once in a blue moon does a song that genuinely makes me want to destroy something appear, densely packed with crushing riffage and percussion--and this feeling was only solidified by the second single “I, Flatline,” which remains one of the most standout tracks on the album. At that moment it was decided, and here we are with our self fulfilling prophecy.
Much like the album in question, I wish not to waste even a moment before throwing you into an endless pummeling torrent that ends before you realize it’s over, leaving you dazed and confused for hours to come. In the case of To Dull The Blades of Your Abuse, the sophomore LP from Manchester’s Leeched, you will be brutalized by 36 minutes of back-to-back noisy, vicious, and unforgivingly heavy riffs that make you wanna punch somebody's lights out. In the case of my review, it’ll be the unnecessarily obtuse verbosity I write all my analyses with to make me sound smarter than I actually am that leaves you confounded as to what the hell half these words mean and why couldn’t I just say “Hi how are ya this album kicks ass you should listen” instead of writing this massive thinkpiece.
But that’s showbiz, baby! If the writing ain’t soaked in glue and glitter it ain’t gonna get no attention, so I invite you to enjoy some kickass brutal jams and expand your English lexicon with me this fine evening. [Or whenever I actually post this - Ed.]
Written by: Izzy
Grindcore is a super divisive genre, I’ve only ever heard three kinds of responses when I ask people if they like grindcore.
A. "I love it! It’s the grossest, rawest, and most intense genre out there."
B. "Most of it is garbage, but there’s a handful of good bands, have you heard of Discordance Axis?"
Or C: "Ma’am this is a Tim Hortons please just take your coffee."
All of which are acceptable responses, but show a lack of understanding of what truly makes the genre so amazing. For me at least, true grindcore is the perfect fusion of punk energy and metal's ferocity. Now few albums do so flawlessly, even much of modern hardcore and metalcore in some way or another falls short of reaching this unrelenting nirvana. But grindcore? Grindcore is the one genre that knows how to harness that chaotic ecstasy and craft it into something that achieves that bliss amongst the madness.
Lest ye readers read the forthcoming praise and subsequently turn upon us scribes in our lofty ivory tower, brandishing pitchforks and torches whilst profusely bleeding through wretched earholes, let me make something clear. Treading Water, the debut LP from Milwaukees’ two-man grind unit LIFES, is not a pleasant listening experience. Both in conventional and unconventional sense.
Treading Water is a brief but pugilistic cacophony, a squealing and burping punk-ridden grindy mess. LIFES carry themselves with the boisterous aggression, powerviolent attitude, and hardcore gravitas of Iron Lung or Dropdead, combined with the wild grinding invention of (my personal scene faves) The Locust. But sonically, the closest comparison I can draw is the vocal delivery of Liberteer's Matthew Widener. That said, both Zak Rudnik and Dave Holochwost handle vocal duties; I'm not sure which is which. Both are pretty damn excellent, it should be worth noting, and no matter who is roaring, the message comes across clear.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!