As I’ve noted elsewhere recently, the problem with most so-called comedy bands is that they aren’t actually all that funny, and rely on offensive or shocking “jokes” to mask a lack of decent songs. Wrong Shade Of Orange by solo act Mad Spanner makes no attempt to hide its absurd sense of humour – I mean, just look at that cover – but the thrashy punk/grind on the album is strong enough to stand on its own. However, the humour is of the kind that won’t be to everyone’s taste, and can be – to me – rather hit-and-miss. That said, there’s still more than enough here to have kept me entertained.
The main problem with most “comedy” bands is that they simply aren’t funny. This is often further compounded by the fact that most bands who try to be funny forget to write worthwhile songs, so that even if the jokes fall flat, at least there’s a solid base of riffs to fall back on. England’s Raised By Owls differ from most comedy bands in that they’re actually genuinely funny; and even if they weren’t, their grindcore is more than strong enough to stand on its own. Combining a very British sense of humour – which should be evident from the title of The Great British Grind Off alone – with varied, impressive grind, this album is a winner on all fronts.
You’ll probably be unsurprised to learn that Shit Clit Split isn’t the most sophisticated of listens. Featuring one-man act Shiteater from the UK, who play old-school, disgusting death metal, and US grind/crust/powerviolence band Clit Eastwood, this is a split for those who don’t take their lyrics too seriously, but still want to hear killer riffs. The contrasting styles of the two bands play off well against each other, and there’s a lot of energy and fun to be found here, but its inherently OTT lyrical nature is both its greatest strength and biggest weakness.
Funny to think how much has changed in this past year. Comparing where the world is now with where it was when I posted my first set of short reviews a year ago is sobering. Let’s try not to dwell on that though, and have some music instead. This month there’s words on the new single from melo-death band Eshtadur, Cornered At The Earth; artful post-punk by Russians Mirrored Lips on чичичи; hyperspeed fastcore on the split between Beartrap and Hummingbird Of Death; soul-crushing black/death on Breeding Ruin by Dawn Of Tyrants; grindcore as love by The Brood on The Truth Behind; and psychedelic doom/stoner from Heavy Temple on new record Chasit. Enjoy!
According to the press release, Hyperakusi is a Swedish word meaning “sensitivity to everyday sounds”. Should that be something you suffer from, then you might want to steer away from this split between Finnish bands Resonance Cascade and Järnbörd. Whilst their versions of grindcore may not exactly be considered “everyday sounds”, they are most certainly not suited to those with sensitive hearing. Dirty, loud and uncompromising, both of these bands offer up slightly different sorts of blistering grind, making this split a riotous half hour that fans of the likes of Napalm Death and Nasum will surely enjoy.
Following on from Part I, which can be read here, here is the second installment of my favourite releases from this year; still in alphabetical order, and still full of awesome, wonderfully diverse music. The top five will follow soon, along with a few other reflections on the past year. But in the meantime, enjoy!
There’s something to be said about a nice, clean production, where every note and lyric can be heard with clarity and precision. There’s also something to be said for the kind of production where everything is a bit of a blur, all the different elements blending in to one another in a demo-level buzz. Suffer by Chicago crust/grind band Euthanized is definitely an example of the later. The raw, basement quality production works in the favour of the band, giving the music that extra DIY underground edge that can really matter in music like this. That the music itself is pretty decent helps, too. Unsubtle, yet also fairly unorthodox at points, Suffer is quite diverse for such a short crust record, taking in different styles without sacrificing any power or conviction over it’s sixteen minutes.