Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Dirty (Baker's) Dozen 9: Siege

Drop Dead
Originally self released (reissued by
Relapse, Deep Six and Deranged)

If you’ve ever wondered whose power Napalm Death was besieging, look no further.
The band may never have hit blastbeat velocities, but every other element of what would become grind was already in this Boston quartet’s arsenal.
Though the band’s entire discography spans a scant nine songs that can be enjoyed in half the time of your standard sitcom, Siege’s influence is incalculable.
Originally released in the Orwellian year 1984, Drop Dead seethes with the frustration and paranoia born of Soviet and American tensions. Song (“Sad but True”) after song (“Cold War”) after song “Armageddon”) rails against the two nation’s seeming glee in bringing the world to the brink of mutually assured destruction in stabbing 60 second blasts of hardcore noise. Racism (“Life of Hate”), world hunger (“Starvation”) and mindless conformity (duh, “Conform”) get a thoroughly scathing rundown as well.
From the blunt lyrics to the cro-magnon music and Kevin Mahoney’s distinctive yelp, Siege was never a subtle proposition. But in the face of abject stupidity, it seemed the only approach.
Medlied by Anal Cunt, whose Seth Putnam auditioned for a reformed lineup in 1992, and covered by Napalm Death, Siege set the standard for the full steam ahead aggression that would become grindcore.