Mixing weed, environmentalism, contempt for humanity and weed, Pennsylvania grinders Exit-13 proved massive marijuana consumption is not the sole provence of bell bottom wearing Black Sabbath clones.
Relapse honcho Bill Yurkiewicz, guitarist Steve O’Donnell and Brutal Truth’s first rhythm section unload 140 minutes of jazz infused deathgrind barely hidden behind wafts of pot smoke and Danny Lilker’s impressive Jewfro on High Life, a quality retrospective of the band's output.
These tree hugging grindcore Loraxes (Loraxi?) expound upon their love of all things green and leafy over the course of 46 tracks spread over two discs. This is the latest in Relapse’s recent string of excellent discographies. (See also: Repulsion, Disembowelment, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Nasum, Disrupt and Human Remains, whose master blaster Dave Witte guests on a handful of tracks here.)
Environmentalism “Reevaluate Life!”), direct action (“Only Protest Give a Hope of Life”), weed (“Legalize Hemp Now!”), human extinction “Societally Provoked Genocidal Contemplation”, weed (“Facilitate the Emancipation of Your Mummified Mind”) and a mouthful of muff diving (“Oral Fixation”) all get their workouts in this collection.
You know they were serious because nearly every song title had an exclamation point. And that’s just the first disc.
Containing nearly every recorded moment of this often overlooked death/grind/jazz hybrid’s entertaining and socially aware career, High Life is snap shot of the formative years of grind when a new wave of bands and labels were laying the cornerstones of a scene too many of us take for granted.
At a time when any banger who mixes metal with jazz and the kitchen sink (*cough* Cephalic Carnage, *cough* Between the Buried and Me) gets hailed as a musical visionary, it’s good to pay tribute to those who the first to “keep on tokin’ onward through the fog!”