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.