Tuesday, November 27, 2007

G&P review: Sayyadina

Mourning the Unknown
Sound Pollution

Grindcore titans Nasum loom large over the landscape, but laboring under that shadow is twice as difficult for fellow Swedes, who will inevitably be compared to their countrymen.
Sayyadina’s second album certainly owes a debt to dynamic songwriting duo Mieszko Talarcyk and Anders Jakobson (bassist Andreas Eriksson secured the low end on Nasum’s final album, Shift).
Eriksson’s confident sawtooth production certainly won’t be dispelling the Nasum comparisons in the near future either. The guitars bite through each song and cymbal hits are sharp and distinct, giving the whole album a real percussive feel.
Despite the obvious similarities, it’s the influence of d-beatniks Victims, Eriksson’s other band, that gives Mourning the Unknown its texture.
The punk and roll of “Hunt Me” and Discharge worship of “Second Best” break up the blast beat cacophony and provides space for the trio’s songwriting talents to breathe. The band even throws in the by now obligatory grind-guys-playing-slow song, “All is Lost,” album closer “Solitary Confinement.”
Buried beneath Eriksson and guitarist Jon Lindqvist’s high/low vocal trade offs are buried some of the most personal grind lyrics since Jon Chang opened up his lonely heart on The Inalienable Dreamless.
Being good Scandinavians, the chilly weather as a metaphor for isolation makes lyrical appearances in about a third of the songs, but they manage to tackle loneliness and depression without getting all heartagram on us.
“The energy that feeds my life is slowly fading away/the never-ending cold is coming, winter’s here to stay.” “The Real” laments.
Hopefully, the trio thaws out soon because Mourning the Unknown should turn a few banging heads.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

G&P review: Bloody Phoenix

Bloody Phoenix
War, Hate & Misery
625 Thrash

Guitarist Jerry Flores manned the barricades at grindcore’s inception with Excruciating Terror, but he girds Bloody Phoenix’s grind with a layer of d-beat goodness.
Through 26 tracks, Flores and associates -- a pair of vocalists in tow -- spit venom on debut War, Hate & Misery. (Spoiler alert: BP think they’re all bad.)
The album’s woofer rumbling production is blown out and bass heavy and shot through with that punk sense of desperation. Pay attention because they’re serious, dammit.
Like follower lifers Phobia, Bloody Phoenix are the kind of band you can throw on just about any metal or punk bill and guarantee a raging show.
Check out “I Understand” for a perfect example of the band’s hydra-headed assault, harking back to d-beat progenitors Disrupt with the pass the mic male and female vocals.
Bloody Phoenix are an excellent time capsule of grind’s formative years when hardcore ran face first into metal and birthed legions of basement speedfreaks. This album also makes a great gateway drug for one of grind’s early and underappreciated practitioners.
Hell, the nice people over at Interpunk are practically giving this album away so what have you got to lose?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Carcass Word of the Day Calendar Nov. 20, 2007

Just because Carcass dropped the gore that doesn’t mean they jettisoned their dictionaries as well. Quite the opposite. The second track on Heartwork, “Carnal Forge” crams an entire SAT prep course into a single 3:55 song. So get your No. 2 lead pencils because we're about to hit the books.

Meretriciously – adj. Flashy, cheap. From the Latin meretrix, meaning a prostitute.
Internecine – adj. Internal conflict or one that is mutually self destructive.
Escheat – n. The reversion of property to the state in the absence of legal heirs.
Longanimity – n. Forbearing, patient endurance of hardship.
Ruminant – n. A hoofed, grazing animal. Also meditative or contemplative.
Regnant – adj. Reigning as a king or queen.
Osculatory – adj. Coming into close contact. Also kissing (archaic).
Perspicuous – adj. Lucid or clear.
Sousing – v. Plunging into water.
Mendacious – adj. Lying, dishonest.
Fiscal – adj. Pertaining to public revenues.
Redolent – adj. Odorous, fragrant.
Consomme – n. A clear soup made by boiling meat or vegetables served hot or jellied.
Opprobrious – adj. Shameful, disgraceful.
Priaprism – n. Continuous erection often due to disease.

Mulitfarious carnage
Meretriciously internecine
Sublime enmangling steelbath
Of escheated atrocities

Enigmatic longanimity of ruminant mass graves
Meritorious victory into body bags now scraped

Regnant fleshpiles
The dead regorged
Osculatory majestic wrath
This carnal forge

Desensitized to perspicuous horror
Dehumanized fresh cannon fodder

Meritorious horror
Perspicuous onslaught
Dehumanized cannon fodder

Killing sanitized
Slaughter sanctified
Desensitized to genocide

Reigning corpsepiles
Death regorged

Sousing bloodbath
Carnage forged

In the cold, callous dignity of the mass grave

Multiferocious carnage
Cruel, mendacious creed
Sublime murderous bloodbath
Of fiscal atrocities

Inexorable mettle in redolent consommé
An opprobrious crucible of molten human waste

Priapismic deathpiles
Infinitely regorged
The smelting butchery
Of the carnal forge

Desensitized to pragmatic murder
Dehumanized into cannon fodder

Saturday, November 17, 2007

G&P review: Cyness

Our Funeral Oration for the Human Race
Sound Pollution

Somebody’s roots are showing, and it’s not the mohawked guy whose silhouette graces the disc.
On their second album, Our Funeral Oration for the Human Race, these Berliners channel their hardcore heritage, and it’s that punk sense of immediacy that propels the dozen tracks.
From the “Grintro” (their term not mine) through album closer, “Children of No Revolution” Cyness harkens back to the late ‘80s when hardcore tempos blurred into blastbeat territory.
The ominous melody in “Nazi Rein’s” bridge makes that track, one of the album’s longest at an epic 2:33, a clear standout. Like a lot of European grinders, Cyness sneak in swirling, almost black metal-ish melodies in many of their songs (“Harley Horst,” “Single Nation”). But this isn’t some bit of Cradle of Filth wankery; the melodies are firmly welded to a bed of early Napalm Death worship.
Though half of the song titles are in English, to get the most out of the lyrics you’re going to need some remedial German classes. However, the band provides brief summaries of each song’s theme for the Amerikaners.
The language barrier isn’t a factor when it comes to the album’s retro Bolt Thrower artwork. The spear wielding lizard man squaring off with a cyber ninja in front of a Mad Max-ian tank needs no translation. Some things are just universal.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Dirty (Baker's) Dozen 11: Agoraphobic Nosebleed

Agoraphobic Nosebleed
Altered States of America

A drug addled CNN for the grindcore masses, ANb set their sights on rotting civilization and just let the cameras roll. Altered States documents disease, political strife, apocalyptic cults and underage Hispanic hookers with the same dispassion, almost documentary style.
Scott Hull grinds, thrashes and programs superhuman blastbeat beatdowns while vocal trio J. Randall, Carl Schulz (Prosthetic Cunt) and Richard Johnson (Enemy Soil, Drugs of Faith) spew their accumulated bile.
While much can be made about Nosebleed’s place at the forefront of the drum machine driven blipcore renaissance, don’t overlook Randall’s electronic meanderings as the other half of the collective’s core. After twiddling the synthesizer knobs for Bostonians Isis and Cave In, he applies his own devilish electronic flair to ANb’s crowning achievement to date.
If for no other reason, ANb deserves inclusion on the list for the absurd feat of cramming 100 tracks into less than 22 minutes, on a 3-inch CD no less, to crown the whole gonzo debacle.
If a zombified Hunter Thompson took one last meth fueled rampage through Sin City, this would be his soundtrack.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Dirty (Baker's) Dozen Number 12: Assück

Misery Index
Sound Pollution

At a time when genre forerunners Napalm Death were cursed to crawl through a series of questionable stylistic shifts, these nimble Floridians dropped a doozy of a mini-album to keep the grind flag flying.
Anchored by sometimes Discordance Axian Rob Proctor’s no-nonsense blast beating, Assück hit and run with 15 tracks in 15 minutes, snarling their way through screeds about war, human rights and economic justice with lyrics that out-Napalmed Napalm.
The album’s eponymous index was created by economist and presidential adviser Arthur Okun as a measure of how unemployment and inflation were taking its toll on the American people. (The current misery index is 7.46 percent, well below the national high of 21.98 in June 1980.)
The misery index for 1996 when Assück stormed the studio was a fairly manageable 8.34, but that didn’t deter the band from raging against the “prostitution in everything wrought” (“Salt Mine”), “force fed notions of nation” (“Wartorn”) and “another generation of slaves and masters coughed up and reswallowed” (“A Monument to Failure”).
The little album that could’s reach is still being felt more than a decade later. The album’s title was swiped for another band’s name and these 15 tracks still resonate for anyone with a jones for no-frills grindcore and depressing economic indicators.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

GRINDecision 2008: Meet the Dems

Which Dem wants to repeal drug laws and who's stealing campaign logos from Britcore bands? Find out as Grind and Punishment explores the Democratic field of presidential candidates in terms your average metal head can understand in our new periodic segment, GRINDecision 2008.

(Editor’s note: G&P’s lawyers would like to make it clear that we have never, ever heard of anything called Indecision 2008 on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Neither do we own the Indecision 2004 DVD set nor America: The Book. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go sob into our pillow over the writer’s strike.)

Joe Biden, DE
Joe Biden doesn’t have talking points; he has talking passages. Clearly the man has some Sunn O))) albums stashed somewhere in his collection because listening to the Delaware senator ramble is akin to be lulled into a daze by wave after wave of sub-bass drones.
(Google it for yourself: Joe Biden and long winded: 18,600 hits; Joe Biden and bloviate: 14,700 hits; Joe Biden and boring: 139,000 hits). But the guy represents Delaware f’chrissake. What do you want from him?
He wants a stable Iraq, better education and to do something about the nation’s pitiful healthcare situation. What exactly, we’re not sure because nobody has the fortitude to make it all the way through one of his interminable stump speeches.

Hillary Clinton, NY
Cold, mechanical and a Bush hater from way back, somebody‘s jonesin’ for just one fix of Mr. Jourgensen’s private stash.
While Ministry finally ended its 20 year run of blackened spoons and industrial beats, Hillarybot 2.0 seems content to saddle up with Jesus and ride that hotrod all the way to the White House. She’s got a 20 point lead over Barack Obama and John Edwards and who can resist the thought of bringing back Bubba and his burger snarfing, bimbo boinking shenanigans?
No word on how Hillarycare would handle artistically inspired if life threatening heroin addiction, but we’re pretty sure she’s ready to draw some Rio Grande blood next year.
A significant swath of the country has the same reaction to another Clinton presidency as they have to a new Ministry album: Haven’t we heard this tune somewhere before?

Chris Dodd, CT
Is the senior senator from Connecticut on the road to Jerusalem?
We went looking for classic Sleep albums in Dodd’s collection after he hinted he would repeal marijuana laws to free up jail space for violent offenders.
Before you pack your bongs in triumph, that doesn’t mean a Dodd presidency would be a stoner paradise; he just said he would advocate not always pursuing criminal charges for processions of weedians on their way to Nazareth.
And like any two bit drug hustler, Dodd is all about the Benjamins. In 1998 Public Campaign bestowed on him the dubious honor of the Golden Leash award (think a congressional Razzie) for willingness to do donors’ bidding in return for cash. Several of the nation’s largest financial institutions were making significant deposit in the Senate Banking Committee chairman’s campaign accounts.
He used to date Carrie Fisher and Bianca Jagger so somebody around him must have some pretty good drugs.

John Edwards, NC
Who better to represent North Carolina’s one-time junior center and two-time presidential flop than hometown heroes Corrosion of Conformity?
No, not the halcyon days of Animosity C.O.C. Not even the respectable if still somewhat disappointing C.O.C. 2: Electric Boogaloo of Karl Agell. Edwards ’08 has that unmistakable past the expiration date reek of Pepper Keenan’s reign of terror on Deliverance.
Edwards’ major flaw is exactly opposite of the fate afflicting C.O.C.’s waning credibility. The Corrosive ones have belied their name with an endless parade of increasingly Southern fried good time boogie, shedding what’s left of their thrashcore cred. Meanwhile Edwards has sloughed off the aw shucks shtick he was pimping in 2004 for a more fiery, populist brand of politicking.
Think more “Vote with a Bullet” and less “Heal My Wound.”
But Edward’s own “Albatross” just happens to be another chump named John who failed to put together a coherent message to challenge one of the most universally reviled incumbents in recent political history. After a tour as first mate on that ill fated “Minnow,” Edwards has tried to roar back with a most strident and populist message, but like C.O.C., the comeback just makes you pine for better days and wish the corpse had been allowed to rest in peace.

Mike Gravel, AK
Weird for the sake of weird, former Alaska senator Mike Gravel is campaigning like an extra from Northern Exposure.
San Francisco and Alaska may be worlds apart, but we’re pretty sure Gravel could groove down to Mr. Bungle’s discordant skronk.
Just how screwy is Gravel? Let’s put it this way, his official campaign bio is penned by Ralph Nader who likens him to fellow oddball Dennis Kucinich with “political positions place him high on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.” So who better to inject a much needed dose of Mr. Bungle-oid weirdness into the Dems as they fight over the carcass of evangelicals soured on Dubya.
Gravel wants an “immediate and orderly” withdrawal from Iraq (no line cuts) as well as scrapping the IRS in favor of a national sales tax as well as ending the war on drugs.
Disco Volante would be the perfect soundtrack for that Lynchianly absurd campaign video Gravel was pimping on YouTube. Picture that set to cartoonish bounce of "Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz."

Dennis Kucinich, OH
He admits to seeing a UFO, he looks like the unholy love child of a Keebler elf and Gollum, but damn if wife wouldn’t be one hot FLILF. Ladies and gentlemen, Dennis Kucinich
Look for this guy campaigning at your local renfaire and jamming to the unicorn-core sounds of Blackmore’s Night.
Yes, his campaign slogan is “Strength ThroughPeace," complete with a logo that looks eerily like the cover of Unseen Terror’s lone album, but we don’t think he’s up on his 80s Britcore.
He’s emptied his pockets on the Colbert Report, he talks about creating a Department of Peace and he’s sure to draw the Naderites in the primary. Otherwise Dennis Kucinich is just wasting his time and other people’s money.

Barack Obama, IL
Like Hirax mainstay Katon de Pena, Barack Obama is breaking a significant color line.
Unlike Jesse Jackson, who has been dry humping Martin Luther King’s corpse for nearly 40 years, and Al Sharpton, the Don King of racial politics, Obama presents the best chance to break the white man’s 44-straight presidency winning streak. While the aforementioned ass clowns tried to capitalize on their race, Obama is the most intriguing minority candidate to date for reasons totally unrelated to his melanin levels, like de Pena, who lacked the benefits of any metal affirmative action program.
Unfortunately, like Hirax, Obama’s inability to capitalize on the hosannas that greeted his entrée onto the national political scene seems to be relegating him to the second tier. While Hirax never emerged from the Bay Area pack like fellow scenesters Metallica, Testament or Exodus, Obama can’t seem to make a dent in the Clinton juggernaut. Will he be a fondly remembered also ran or will he notch a place in the history books?

Bill Richardson, NM
Some things just look better on paper. Take Bill Richardson.
The New Mexico governor is a past congressman, a former ambassador, energy secretary and with immigration driving a lot of talk from the right, being Hispanic with roots in Mexico City doesn’t hurt.
But like Lock Up, the disparate pieces just haven’t formed a cohesive whole that anybody gives a rodent’s posterior about, and Richardson has wallowed in the lower tier of the Democratic field.
Napalmers Jesse Pintado and Shane Embury tried to revive the glory days of early grind in 1998 when they recruited drummer Nick Barker and vocalist Peter Tägtgren (later Tomas Lindberg) for Lock Up. What should have been a glorious throwback album that combined the best of the foursome’s groundbreaking past just came across as another tired Terrorizer retread from the guy who penned all of the Terrorizer tunes in the first place.
Like Lock Up, expect to see Richardson in the cut out bin of finer Democratic conventions everywhere.

Coming next: The Grind Old Party?

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Dirty (Baker’s) Dozen: Number 13 Anal Cunt

Ah the countdown list. No one is immune. There is a secret (or rather obvious) collector nerd hunkering in every serious metal head. I have no shame when I say endlessly rearranging my albums is the joy of my existence. Some go the alphabetical route, but I prefer filing by genre, subgenre, band and then year of release. It’s the grouping of bands that brings me the most joy.
But even beyond endlessly rearranging our intricately filed collections, metal nerds love to argue who was the greatest. In that spirit G&P brings you this list of the 13 greatest, most groundbreaking or just otherwise exemplary bands that created, shaped and continue to prod grind forward. Why 13 instead of 10, you ask? I will not be a slave to the cheap numerology of round numbers. That and I just couldn’t bring myself to cut anybody from the list. So let’s do this thing.

Anal Cunt
Morbid Florist
This twenty minute burst, recorded as a teaser as they shopped around for a label, epitomizes early Anal Cunt, who boasted the most patently offensive moniker in metal prior to the advent of “Christ raping black metal.”
Hate or tolerate loudmouth frontman Seth Putnam, at their height, A.C. were grindcore’s ultimate reductio ad absurdum, pushing the genre’s speed and brevity to humorous extremes with suites of mini songs that featured few or no lyrics. The piss-take humor, with titles like “Some Songs,” “Some More Songs,” and “Even More Songs” pierced the pomposity of grind’s forerunners in hit and run bursts of unintelligible noise. Add in a Siege medley and a cover of EMF’s now-forgotten but totally inescapable in 1991 “Unbelievable” and A.C. reigned supreme as grind’s comedian princes.
Where full length debut Everyone Should be Killed was a patience-trying hour long, this micro-album encapsulates A.C.’s improv blur-core ferocity without overstaying its welcome.
Unfortunately, the band would quickly slide off the rails. Their later attempts at being haha-funny were just, well, gay.