Monday, June 15, 2009

Blast(beat) From the Past: Blockheads

Shapes of Misery
I dare you to call France’s Blockheads cheese eating surrender monkeys. Go ahead. When you do, I’ll be standing about 20 feet off to the side so the blood doesn’t splash on my shoes.
Like Mumakil, with whom they’ve shared a split, Blockheads only come with one setting: scorched earth assault. Shapes of Misery, their fourth long player, is molar-cracking blasts and implacable dentist drill riffing from opening juggernaut “Bow Down” straight through the pulled grenade pin closing of “Business Intelligence.” What it may lack in songwriting variety, Shapes of Misery more than compensates with pure shrapnel. It’s 30 minutes of medical experiment guitar scrapings, septic tank bass, .50-caliber on the perimeter drumming and Holocaust survivor worthy rage.
“Silent” is a watertight 36 seconds of jaw jacking stop/start drumming while “Fuck off and Die!” is a roiling cauldron of beneath the surface bass concussion. The guitars get their moment to shine on “I’ve Been,” refracting off splintered glass guitar solo.
Like Mumakil, don’t be surprised if this very deserving French outfit finds a home on Relapse in the future as well.

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