Shapes of Misery
Rise Above Oppression
I Hate Humanity
I assume most of you are familiar with the reverse cowgirl, but Shapes of Misery bassist and I Hate Humanity Records proprietor Geert pulls a move on Rise Above Oppression I have dubbed the Reverse Newsted.
The guitars on Rise Above Oppression, the band’s sole full length to date, are laughably, tissue paper thin (“Something to Believe” foolishly gives the guitar its own space in a song to bathetic effect). However, the entire outing is saved from drowning in the suck swamp by Geert’s sledgehammer on songs like “Fire in Your Eyes,” a pyromaniacal blast that flares and snaps like a gas station going up.
Songwriting wise, Shapes of Misery are not altogether dissimilar to mid-era Phobia or even another grind collective that is also well acquainted with the morphology of discomfort. The band works the golden grind oldie of slow build tension and orgasmic blast release driven by thudding bass and stomping heart beat bass drumming.
While guitarist Glenn may want to savagely beat the album’s engineers, he does earn a spot in grindcore Valhalla as a vocalist who’s largely, surprisingly intelligible as he growls his ways through 27 slashes of traditional grind, including a cover of hometown heroes My Minds Mine’s “Drop Fascists Not Bombs” for good measure. In the hands of a competent producer, Rise Above Oppression could have been a ripper. Instead it’s a passable, enjoyable half an hour from a country that’s on the cusp of grindcore dominance.