Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Going Dutch: My Minds Mine

Sir, he specifically requested two “niggers.” Well, to tell the family secret, my grandmother was Dutch.
Cleavon Little as Bart
Blazing Saddles

When I lived in Europe as a teen I always had a soft spot for Holland. While I was too young at the time to fully appreciate the country’s collective shrug at transactional sex and recreational pharmacopeia, Holland always impressed me for its laid back vibe. Which is why the country’s post-millennial assault on grindcore has been such a revelation. It’s like the entire nation wandered red-eyed and irritable out of the hash cafes and decided to grab a stack of Assuck and Nasum albums and a battered SG.

My Minds Mine
48 Reasons to Leave This Planet
The OGs of Dutch grindcore, My Minds Mine were both the template and apotheosis of everything that country had to offer. They were a band so good I’m willing to overlook the grammatical abortion that is their name.
Not to piss down three-quarters of the band’s collective legs, but My Minds Mine is a time capsule documenting the early songwriting growth of guitarist Shantia who, like a certain Swede Who Need Not Be Named, has this penchant for just ripping out catchy grind riff after another, seemingly without end. The vertiginous whorls of “Fry Them” or classic crust blast of “Drop Fascists Not Bombs,” probably the band’s signature tune, are more catching than the recent Pig AIDS outbreak (which I recently had and isn't that bad). This roster of early 7-inch cuts shows the embryonic incarnation of what would later flower into Shantia’s signature move – deliberate amp feedback. The screeching squall pops up on 48 Reasons to Leave This Planet primarily as either impromptu intros and outros – such as on the transition from “Mass Murder Memories” to “Monster Race.”
While I cannot flog enough superlatives in praise of Shantia’s performance, it probably wouldn’t count for squat without My Minds Mine’s other trio of terror. Frontman Rosco woodchippers his way through the largely shrieked vocals, raging, raging against the dying of the light on songs like the foreboding “Repeat at Length.” Bert’s understated bass serves as steel girdered bridge between the guitars and drummer Ype’s three card monte playing style , which legerdemains fills and inserts that may pass unnoticed the first listen or two but always manage to establish their own space.
I’m continually surprised just how much traction musicians can still get out of that hoary punk formula of flensing songs down to their substructure, but My Minds Mine are a perfect example that crafty songwriting and collective conviction still count in metal.

No comments: